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Thread: Dante vs. Faust

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    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    Default Dante vs. Faust

    Which Liszt's symphony do you think better, Dante or Faust?
    Do you agree that the Dante Symphony leaves an impression of uncompleteness, as some say?
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

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    Default Dante symphony

    I have only got a CD of the Dante symphony. I may have heard the Faust symphony years ago, but I can't remember what it sounds like. The Dante symphony is good, but Liszt never quite reaches the same intensity as Mahler, Bruckner or Wagner although there are some dramatic moments such as the in the first movement. Liszt's music is often more subdued like in St Stanislaus and so much of his piano music, for example.

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    Senior Member Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    A Faust Symphony was a recent add to my collection. For as much Romantic era music as I've collected, I have an embarrassingly small amount by Liszt (and it's certainly not because I haven't liked what I've heard so far).
    I enjoyed the dynamics in the piece- I was actually a little surprised by them... although if I knew more about Liszt, I probably wouldn't have been. (A case of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing, I'm sure.)
    For whatever reason, it seems that Faust is more firmly established in the repertoire than Dante, although the latter is coming on (at least by the criterion of available recordings, anyway).
    The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95

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    Junior Member Woodley6453's Avatar
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    I have heard both and I have always enjoyed A Faust Symphony more - especially the finale.. it's really quite splendid.

    I agree that Dante has left me feeling slightly incomplete, in a strange musical way.
    "Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."
    -Ludwig van Beethoven

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    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodley6453 View Post
    I have heard both and I have always enjoyed A Faust Symphony more - especially the finale.. it's really quite splendid.
    The choral ending is indeed an illustration of the word 'splendid'. And the way it closes with the orchestra leaving the held chords on the organ 'bare' for a moment, and then the final, grand 'whoosh'...

    Because of the Purgatory movement of the Dante Symphony, I must overall say that I like that symphony a slightest bit better. After some 20 mins of a real musical purgatory, meditative and clarifying, comes the beautiful Magnificat chorus (in my recording a boys' choir) that illuminates the way to Heaven. It's unbeatable.
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

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    Senior Member Op.123's Avatar
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    Faust...................
    “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

    - Mozart

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    Senior Member Lisztian's Avatar
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    Faust.

    And yes, much as I like the Dante, I do feel it usually leaves a feeling of incompleteness.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I like both works in fairly equal measure but sometimes I wish Liszt hadn't listened to Wagner as regards leaving the Dante without a Paradise movement - however, Liszt was a religious man and perhaps thought after concurring with Wagner that even his best creative efforts wouldn't do a portrayal of Paradise sufficient justice. At least he leaves us with the Magnificat - although it's been judged by some as a kind of 'compromise' ending it is still one of the most beautiful pieces of vocal music I've ever heard.

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    Sorry. This is probably what you don't want but, for me, neither(I have both). Except for "Annees De Pelerinage" and "Les Preludes", not much of a fan of Liszt but do appreciate his great ability.

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    Senior Member Feathers's Avatar
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    Both have some beautiful themes, but the Faust symphony develops it and ties it together a little better. Strangely, I enjoy listening to Dante more, for no real objective reason, probably simply because I heard it first.

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    Senior Member Cosmos's Avatar
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    I think the Faust symphony is more developed, while the Dante has more memorable moments and melodies. Also, I feel that the first movement of Dante is the most picturesque, while the second movement is kind of bland (though it has an impressive fugato section)

    In general, Liszt's symphonies aren't my favorites. The feel like giant symphonic poems rather than actual symphonies. Also I'm not as attracted to programatic music as I used to be

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