ddh 27810 (2CD)
with full libretto in Italian, French and English

cd image


GOUNOD: FAUST (complete) in Italian
Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, Milan
Conducted by Carlo Sabajno

Faust first became popular in this Italian version with libretto by Achille de Lauzières, before being fully accepted in the original French. The Italian text seems to suit the music so much better! Among the many recordings of this opera, this 1920 La Scala performance, made for HMV, must be amongst the best - the main soloists are superb and despite the age of the recording (made acoustically) come through clear due to the wonderful audio restoration work of Andrew Rose.
The CD booklet includes the Italian libretto, and the French Italian and English librettos are on a PDF file on Disc 2, which can be opened and printed from any computer.

CD DURATION:  CD1 72:29; CD2 70:09

AUDIO SAMPLE: Soldiers' Chorus (opening)






Faust: Giuliano Romagnoli
Margarita: Gemma Bosini
Mefistofele: Fernando Autori
Siebel: Gilda Timitz
Wagner: Napoleone Limonta
Valentino: Adolfo Pacini
Marta: Nelda Garrone

pristine audio logo

review extracts: for full reviews click here

“Is this too cool or what? Any self respecting opera fan will want to grab a copy of this.” – Chris Spector (MidWest Record)

“Absolutely minimal surface noise... thus we can appreciate this set as a genuine performance. The quality of this world-class opera company shines through these old discs with an excellence and unfailing deep musicianship that justifies this reissue in artistic grounds” – Robert Matthew-Walker (Musical Opinion)

"Lovely performance and amazing engineering-a masterpiece, in fact! The notes are great!!!!" - a satisfied customer (USA)
“The crop of quality singers and the much underrated Carlo Sabajno combine together to provide a truly world class performance on all counts... stunning remastering. This is an essential historical document which is a must for all fans of opera in all guises.” - Gerald Fenech (ClassicalNet)
“Remarkably good overall sound quality that allows the excellent performances to shine through. This is the first time that this important historical recording has appeared on CD and it's a memorable version of one of the most popular, tuneful and sophisticated operas ever composed.” - John Pitt (New Classics)
“Superb sound!...instrumental details are well caught, the chorus has great impact, the singers leap out of the speakers with surprising realism. Carlo Sabajno...secures fine playing and singing from the La Scala forces. The star of the performance is Fernando Autori as Mephistopheles. He has a magnificent black-tinted bass... one of the most impressive devils on any recording. Gilda Timitz is an excellent Siebel and his/her Flower Song is one of the highlights. A lot to admire on this almost 90-year old surprisingly listenable version.” – Göran Forsling (MusicWeb)
“Autori as Mephistopheles: a vital, vivid, vibrant interpretation. He brings the character to life without excess: one of the best. Transfers are well done” – John T. Hughes (International Record Review)
“The sound is very good acoustic (pre-electric). Granted that, its being sung in Italian gives it a certain historic quality.... [a] version that can stand on its own vocally against some of the more recent French-language versions” – Frank Behrens (Art Times)

“Divine Art seems to have done its job well. Most of the singers have rapid little vibratos, but their voices are not unattractive. Autori has a dark voice and fairly smooth delivery ... he isn't crude and heavy” – James Miller (Fanfare)