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Mephistopheles and Other Bad Guys - Short, Foster

Mephistopheles and Other Bad Guys - Short, Foster

PentaTone Classics  PTC 5186585

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Opera


Charles Gounod: Faust ('Le veau d’or', 'Vous qui faites l’endormie')
Arrigo Boito: Mefistofele ('Son lo Spirito che nega', 'Ecco il mondo')
Ludwig van Beethoven: Es war einmal ein König, Op.75 No. 3, Fidelio, Op. 72 ('Ha! Welch ein Augenblick')
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail ('Wer ein Liebchen hat gefunden', 'O, wie will ich triumphieren')
Carl Maria von Weber: Der Freischütz ('Schweig, schweig, damit dich niemand warnt')
Jacques Offenbach: Les contes d’Hoffmann ('Dans les rôles d’amoureux langoureux', 'Scintille, diamant')
Giuseppe Verdi: I Lombardi ('Sciagurata! Hai tu creduto')
Hector Berlioz: La damnation de Faust ('Voici des roses', 'Devant la maison')
Gordon Getty: Mephistopheles to Faust
Modest Mussorgsky: Song of Mephistopheles in Auerbach’s Cellar from Goethe’s 'Faust'
Igor Stravinsky: The Rake’s Progress ('I burn! I freeze!')
Giacomo Meyerbeer: Robert le diable ('Voici donc les débris - Nonnes, qui reposez')
Richard Wagner: Das Rheingold, Der Ring des Nibelungen ('Bin ich nun frei?')

Kevin Short (baritone)
Male chorus of the Opera de Marseille
Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille
Lawrence Foster (conductor)


In opera, specific voice types are often associated with certain types of characters. Numerous and diverse associations exist also for the bass voice, who can be a father, a villain, an elderly man, a religious figure, a comic character or, indeed, a combination of the above. One recurring association for this voice type, however, deserves particular attention: that with evil, wicked, even diabolical characters. It is on that immensely fascinating association that this collection of arias is focused. The nineteen selections – composed by Mozart, Beethoven, Weber, Wagner, Meyerbeer, Berlioz, Gounod, Offenbach, Verdi, Boito, Mussorgsky, Stravinsky and Getty – take us on a journey through a period spanning some two hundred years, exploring how composers working in diverse national and institutional contexts and writing in an array of styles and genres exploited the bass voice to engage with the depiction of such characters.

This colourful repertoire is sung by the esteemed American bass-baritone Kevin Short, whose powerful voice is as sensuous as it is sinister. Short is accompanied by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille, led by its Music Director Lawrence Foster. Earlier this year, this orchestra and conductor were hailed for their PENTATONE releases of Martinů Double Concertos and A Certain Slant of Light.

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