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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

English composer Havergal Brian’s setting of Goethe’s Faust was the third of his large-scale German-language operatic projects. Goethe’s Faust had interested Brian for at least forty years when he started composing his Faust opera. Brian was fascinated by the Gothic, and the Goethean Faust represented Gothic Germany as he imagined it. In his opera Faust (1955–56), Brian sought to recreate the German Gothic, filtered through Goethe’s words, which he left unaltered. The opera is full of invention and new perspectives on Goethe’s play. The composer has avoided any superficial picturesqueness, creating a density and intensity typical of his later large-scale operatic works.

Keywords: Faust, Goethe, Havergal Brian, opera, Gothic

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