Information about the programme
In his début at the helm of the BRSO Philippe Jordan, the music director of the Vienna State Opera since 2020, devotes himself to life’s dark side and a theme from world literature that has held composers spellbound time and time again: Faust. Franz Liszt, in the three movements of his Faust Symphony, delineates character studies of the three main figures – Faust, Gretchen and Mephistopheles. His symphony culminate in a mystical finale with chorus and solo tenor, invoking the power of forgiveness through what Goethe called “the eternal feminine”. Wagner’s Faust Overture, on the other hand, is limited to the title figure, its sustained tempo describing his loneliness in his solitary study. Rounding off the programme is Liszt’s Danse macabre (Totentanz), a paraphrase on the Dies irae motif that is by turns apocalyptic, macabre and grotesque. Here, too, we hear the Faustian contest between Heaven and Hell.