Joyce DiDonato’s new recording of Berlioz’s compelling La Damnation de Faust with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and Maestro John Nelson is set to be released by Erato / Warner Classics on November 22. This recording was made in the Auditorium Erasme in Strasbourg in April 2019, two years after Nelson, the orchestra, and a superb cast, including Ms. DiDonato, Michael Spyres, and Nicolas Courjal brought Berlioz’s Les Troyens to life in the same venue.
The associated Erato recording of the vast two-part opera has gone on to win unalloyed praise and multiple major prizes, including Gramophone’s Recording of the Year, BBC Music Magazine’s Opera Award, Germany’s Opus Klassik Award and more recently, the coveted Record of the Year at the Victoires de la Musique Classique.
For La Damnation de Faust, Nelson, DiDonato, Spyres, and Courjal – described by France Musique as a ‘dream team” – were joined by French baritone Alexandre Duhamel. This timely release is another contribution from Erato / Warner Classics to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of Berlioz. Capturing the thrill of the occasion, and remembering the impact of Les Troyens, Bachtrack wrote: “Lightning, they say, never strikes in the same place twice. If that’s the case, then somebody please explain the scorch marks streaked across Strasbourg’s Palais de la Musique et des Congrès … Nelson wove Berlioz’s fantastical score miraculously and meticulously.” The album is now available for pre-order via Amazon. For purchase links and more information, click here.
“★★★★★ – Her Marguerite was mellifluously sung, cooing in the love duet, her mezzo fluttering softly at the top.” (Bachtrack)
“★★★★★ – DiDonato [was] a Marguerite of marvelous elegance and vulnerability, close to delirium in her last scene, an emotion the whole audience could partake in when it was all over.” (The Times)