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The Mapleson Cylinders - Program Notes

- Libretti
- Gounod: FAUST [Includes RealAudio Selections]
- Band 7

Band 7

Act IV: Duel Scene excerpt and beginning of Valentin's Death: "[Mé]daille maudite" ... "la mort en face trop souvent"

Albert Alvarez (t), Faust

Giuseppe Campanari (b), Valentin

Edouard De Reszke (bs), Méphistophélès

Mathilde Bauermeister (s), Marthe

Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra --

Luigi Mancinelli

February 18, 1903

[Glackens 41. This exceptionally long cylinder -- playing nearly three minutes -- was recorded at the very slow speed of 117.30 rpm.]

The duel follows Méphistophélès' mocking serenade at Marguerite's window, which brings out her brother Valentin. Mapleson's recording begins as the enraged Valentin tears from his neck the silver medallion Marguerite had given him when he went off to war. It then continues to the beginnings of his death scene; the entering chorus sings in Italian (as. presumably, does Mathilde Bauermeister as Marthe).

[original]

VALENTIN

[Mé]daille maudite!
Je ne veux plus de ton secours!

MÉPHISTOPHÉLÈS (aside)
Tu t'en repentiras,
tu t'en repentiras! Simultaneous singing begins

FAUST
Terrible et frémissant
il glace mon courage!
Terrible et frémissant
il glace mon courage!
Dois-je verser le sang,
du frère que j'outrage?
Dois-je verser le sang,
verser le sang
du frère que j'outrage?

VALENTIN
Redouble, o Dieu puissant,
ma force et mon courage!
Redouble, o Dieu puissant,
ma force et mon courage!
Permets que dans son sang
je lave mon outrage!
Dieu puissant, Dieu puissant!
Redouble mon courage!

MÉPHISTOPHÉLÈS
De son air menaçant,
de son aveugle rage,
de son air menaçant,
de son aveugle rage,
moi, je ris!
Mon bras puissant
va detourner l'orage,
mon bras puissant, mon bras
va detourner l'orage! Simultaneous singing ends

VALENTIN
En garde! et défends-toi!

MÉPHISTOPHÉLÈS (to Faust)
Serrez-vous contre moi!
Et poussez seulement, cher docteur!
Moi, je pare. (They fight. Valentin falls.)

MÉPHISTOPHÉLÈS
Voici notre héros étendu sur le sable!
Au large maintenant! au large! (Exit, dragging Faust after him)

MARTHE & CHORUS (entering with lighted torches)
Per di quà venga ognun,
si batton nella via!
Un di lor cadde la!
Ahi, meschin, steso è là,
egli respira ancor, rimuover lo vedeste.
Presto avanziam, soccorerlo convien.
Ci accostiam, soccorerlo convien.

VALENTIN
Merci, merci!
De vos plaintes, faites-moi grace!
J'ai vu, morbleu, la mort en face
trop souvent [pour en avoir peur!]

[translation]

VALENTIN

Accursed gift,
I'll no more of thee!

MÉPHISTOPHÉLÈS (aside)
You'll repent it,
you'll repent it! Simultaneous singing begins

FAUST
Awesome and threatening,
he chills my courage!
Awesome and threatening,
he chills my courage!
Must I spill the blood
of the brother I have offended?
Must I spill the blood,
spill the blood
of the brother I have offended?

[Begin Page 24]

VALENTIN
Reinforce, o God all-powerful,
my strength and my courage!
Reinforce, o God all-powerful,
my strength and my courage!
Grant that in his blood
I shall cleanse my rage!
God all-powerful, God all-powerful!
Reinforce my courage!

MÉPHISTOPHÉLÈS
At his menacing mien,
at his blind rage,
At his menacing mien,
at his blind rage,
I merely laugh!
My potent arm
will turn away the storm,
my potent arm, my arm
will turn away the storm! Simultaneous singing ends

VALENTIN
Come on, defend yourself!

MÉPHISTOPHÉLÈS (to Faust)
Stand near me.
and only attack him:
I'll take care of parrying! (They fight. Valentin falls.)

MÉPHISTOPHÉLÈS
Behold our hero, lifeless on the ground!
Come, we must hence--quick, fly! (Exit, dragging Faust after him)

MARTHE & CHORUS (entering with lighted torches)
Hither, hither, come this way,
they're fighting here hard by!
See, one has fallen!
The unhappy man lies prostrate there.
Ah! he moves--yes, he still breathes;
quick, then, draw nigh
to raise and succor him!

VALENTIN
Thanks! thanks!
'Tis useless, these vain laments!
I have gazed on death
too often to fear it!


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