Busoni: Doktor Faust
Ferruccio Busoni based his brilliant opera of the Faustian legend not on Goethe's classic work but on the author's original sources, which liberated the composer to create an entirely new work of art that remains fresh and forceful. It's rarely heard or staged, however, so this 2006 production from Zurich is as a welcome addition. Thomas Hampson gives a towering performance as the doctor who sacrifices his soul to the devil, the orchestra and chorus sound heavenly under conductor Philippe Jordan, and director Klaus Michael Gruber stages this bizarre story with many felicitous visual touches. This looks sensational on Blu-ray, and sounds even better—the 7.1 Surround Sound is the best I've heard yet. Interviews with Hampson and Jordan are included.