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Gluck: Opera Arias
     

Gluck: Opera Arias

by Daniel Behle
 
Christoph Willibald Gluck has a place in the history books for a few big hits and for the idea of reforming the ornate style of opera seria -- serious opera -- in the 18th century, replacing it with a more natural ideal of melody. This reputation has rested on a very few pieces, and both bibliographic control and recorded explorations of Gluck's music are perhaps more

Overview

Christoph Willibald Gluck has a place in the history books for a few big hits and for the idea of reforming the ornate style of opera seria -- serious opera -- in the 18th century, replacing it with a more natural ideal of melody. This reputation has rested on a very few pieces, and both bibliographic control and recorded explorations of Gluck's music are perhaps more sparse than for any other major composer. Accordingly, the major label Decca deserves commendation for this collection of Gluck arias, four of which receive their world premieres here. The album is roughly divided between the sort of pastoral melody exemplified by Gluck hits like the "Dance of the Blessed Spirits" from "Orfeo ed Euridice" and earlier works of a more vocally taxing nature. Behle may be a bit stronger in the latter: hear the fearless leap up to high B flat and the very delicate descent from the cliff in the aria "Io veggo in lontananza" from the opera "Semiramide riconosciuta" (track 2). But he is nowhere subpar, and he's very ably backed by the historical-instrument group Armonia Atenea under George Petrou. The overall effect is to give a much fuller picture of this composer than has been available previously, and the only complaint is hollow sound from an oversized Athenian concert hall.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/01/2014
Label:
Decca
UPC:
0028947867586
catalogNumber:
002095902
Rank:
160121

Tracks

  1. La rencontre imprévue (or, "The Pilgrim of Mecca"), opera in 3 acts, Wq. 32: Je chérirai, jusqu'au trépas
  2. Orfeo ed Euridice (Italian version), opera in 3 acts, Wq. 30: J'ai perdu mon Eurydice
  3. Iphigénie en Aulide, opera in 3 acts, Wq. 40: Cruelle, non, jamais
  4. Le cinesi, opera in 1 act, Wq. 18: Son lungi e non mi brami
  5. La Semiramide riconosciuta, opera in 3 acts, Wq. 13: Bel piacer saria d'un core
  6. Ezio, opera in 3 acts, Wq. 15: Se povero il ruscello
  7. La Semiramide riconosciuta, opera in 3 acts, Wq. 13: Il veggo in lontananza
  8. Antigono, opera in 3 acts, Wq. 21: Quercia annosa sull'erte pendici

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