“Faust” stands for the composer Gounod himself, who was torn between the expression of excessive sensuality and a deep spirituality which he was searching for in his Catholic faith. As such, in this most important musical setting of Goethe’s drama, the work was given a deeply personal interpretation.

With a detailed Foreword (Fr/Eng/Ger) this new edition presents the genesis of the work with its various, during Gounod’s lifetime, completely sung versions.

The main version of our edition was performed at the Paris Opéra on 3 March 1869. However, simple cross references in the score enable a reconstruction of the earlier and later stages of this work for performance. Rounding off this publication is a critical edition of the libretto. All available sources are described and the Critical Commentary provides information about any changes made to the individual numbers.

The two earlier Faust versions with spoken dialogue will be included in a separate volume within this series (in preparation, BA 8714).