Gluck: Paride Ed Elena

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
If the title characters of Paride ed Elena don't ring a bell, it's just a matter of translation: Gluck's 1770 opera dramatizes the romance of Paris and Helen on the eve of the Trojan War. In doing so, it expands on a moment that gets passed over in most versions of the story, as love struck Paris woos the beautiful Helen toward a happy ending that the audience knows will be short-lived. Paride ed Elena is the last and least-known of three operas Gluck wrote with the librettist Ranieri de' Calzabigi -- the so-called reform operas, of which Orfeo ed Euridice has always been the most popular, followed by Alceste and more distantly by the almost-forgotten Paride. But ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
If the title characters of Paride ed Elena don't ring a bell, it's just a matter of translation: Gluck's 1770 opera dramatizes the romance of Paris and Helen on the eve of the Trojan War. In doing so, it expands on a moment that gets passed over in most versions of the story, as love struck Paris woos the beautiful Helen toward a happy ending that the audience knows will be short-lived. Paride ed Elena is the last and least-known of three operas Gluck wrote with the librettist Ranieri de' Calzabigi -- the so-called reform operas, of which Orfeo ed Euridice has always been the most popular, followed by Alceste and more distantly by the almost-forgotten Paride. But centuries of neglect make this score's rediscovery all the sweeter, especially given the quality of the performance captured here. Magdalena Kozená is ideally suited for the role of Paris, originally composed for a castrato; lying on the high side of the mezzo-soprano range, her voice also has the agility and the impassioned personality to bring this character to life. Kozená had already included two of Paris's arias on her album Le Belle Immagini, and it's an unexpected delight to hear her sing the complete role, especially the rapturous serenade to Helen at the opera's center, "Quegli occhi belli." The cast of Paride is small, with only three other singers -- all sopranos -- but much variety is provided by the orchestral interludes and dances some of which even represent an athletic tournament, performed with delectable style by the Gabrieli Consort and Players under period-instrument specialist Paul McCreesh. Whether you're intrigued by the opera's rarity quotient or just by the prospect of fabulous singing, this recording is sure to satisfy.
New York Times - Anne Midgette
The Gabrieli ensemble plays with attractive understatement, matching the understatement of the piece itself; and Ms. Kozena...is well partnered by Susan Gritton as Elena. There are even a couple of greatest hits: "O del mio dolce ardor," at least, is familiar from aria books. The opera doesn't pack quite the punch of "Orfeo ed Euridice," but this is a fine new recording of a little-known work.
Gramophone - Richard Lawrence
If this underestimated opera can be resorted to the repertory, [Kozená] is the one to do it.... The wonder of this recording is that the soloists sing the words with such attention to their meaning, so -- in a word -- dramatically, as to silence criticism.... It's hard to imagine this set ever being surpassed.
Time Out New York - Marion Lignana Rosenberg
Magdalena Kozená is a rash, dangerous Paride, with lean but fruity and sensual phrasing, and Susan Gritton spins pearly, come-hither sounds as the initially reluctant, later impassioned Elena.... McCreesh's magnificent cast and crew serves up a veritable rainbow of sounds.

If this underestimated opera can be resorted to the repertory, [Kozená] is the one to do it.... The wonder of this recording is that the soloists sing the words with such attention to their meaning, so -- in a word -- dramatically, as to silence criticism.... It's hard to imagine this set ever being surpassed.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/14/2005
  • Label: Archiv Produktion
  • UPC: 028947754152
  • Catalog Number: 000449502
  • Sales rank: 354,190

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–64 Paride ed Elena, opera in 5 acts, Wq. 39 - Christoph Willibald Gluck & Raniero de Calzabigi (145:46)
    Composed byChristoph Willibald Gluck
    Conducted byPaul McCreesh
    Performed byGabrieli Consort & Players, Susan Gritton, Magdalena Kozená, Paul McCreesh, Carolyn Sampson, Gillian Webster, Gabrieli Players
    1. 1Overtura. Moderato con espressione - Allegro
    2. 2Act 1. Scene 1. Non sdegnare
    3. 3Act 1. Scene 1. O del mio dolce ardor
    4. 4Act 1. Scene 1. Ballo [Andante]
    5. 5Act 1. Scene 1. Dall'aurea sua stella / Ballo [Andante]
    6. 6Act 1. Scene 1. Spiange amate
    7. 7Act 1. Scene 2. Stranier, la mia Regina a te m'invia
    8. 8Act 1. Scene 2. Ma, chi sei
    9. 9Act 1. Scene 3. Felice te
    10. 10Act 1. Scene 3. Nell'idea ch'ei volge
    11. 11Act 1. Scene 3. Ballo. [Allegro]
    12. 12Act 1. Scene 3. Ballo. [Andante]
    13. 13Act 1. Scene 3. Ballo. Maestoso
    14. 14Act 1. Scene 3. Ballo. Amabile moderto
    15. 15Act 1. Scene 3. Ballo. Allegro
    16. 16Act 2. Scene 1. Si prsenti
    17. 17Act 2. Scene 2. Regina!
    18. 18Act 2. Scene 2. Forse più d'una beltà
    19. 19Act 2. Scene 3. Tutto qui me sorprende
    20. 20Act 2. Scene 3. Le belle immagini
    21. 21Act 3. Scene 1. [Sinfonia] Maestoso
    22. 22Act 3. Scene 1. Prence, la tua presenza
    23. 23Act 3. Scene 1. Dalla reggia rilucente scendi a noi
    24. 24Act 3. Scene 1. Negli strali, nell'arco possente
    25. 25Act 3. Scene 1. [Ballo] Aria per i Atleti, Spiritoso
    26. 26Act 3. Scene 1. Non più
    27. 27Act 3. Scene 1. Lodi al nume
    28. 28Act 3. Scene 1. Per te, signor
    29. 29Act 3. Scene 1. Quegli occhi belli
    30. 30Act 3. Scene 1. Non più! Misero!
    31. 31Act 3. Scene 1. Fingere più non so
    32. 32Act 3. Scene 1. [Sinfonia] Maestoso
    33. 33Act 3. Scene 1. Ballo. Chaconne - Gavotte - Chaconne
    34. 34Act 4. Scene 1. Temerario!
    35. 35Act 4. Scene 2. Vengo, o Regina!
    36. 36Act 4. Scene 2. Ah, lo veggo
    37. 37Act 4. Scene 2. Non lontana
    38. 38Act 4. Scene 3. Si, spietata
    39. 39Act 4. Scene 3. Di te scordarmi, e vivere!
    40. 40Act 4. Scene 4. Lo temei
    41. 41Act 4. Scene 4. Lo potrò
    42. 42Act 5. Scene 1. Elena a me s'asconde!
    43. 43Act 5. Scene 1. Donzelle semplici
    44. 44Act 5. Scene 1. Consolati, o Regina
    45. 45Act 5. Scene 2. Opportuno giungesti
    46. 46Act 5. Scene 3. T'inganni, il tuo destino
    47. 47Act 5. Scene 3. Va coll'amata in seno
    48. 48Act 5. Scene 4. Che udii?
    49. 49Act 5. Scene 4. Sempre a te sarò fedele
    50. 50Act 5. Scena ultima (revised version). Sinfonia. Andante
    51. 51Act 5. Scena ultima (revised version). Sinfonia. Allegro
    52. 52Act 5. Scena ultima (revised version). Altri mai da ignota sponda
    53. 53Act 5. Scena ultima (revised version). Vieni al mar
    54. 54Act 5. Scena ultima (revised version). Presto fugge la beltà
    55. 55Act 5. Scena ultima (revised version). Sempre a te sarò fedele
    56. 56Act 5. Scena ultima (revised version). Vieni al mar
    57. 57Act 5. Scena ultima (published version). Sinfonia. Andante
    58. 58Act 5. Scena ultima (published version). Sinfonia. Allegro
    59. 59Act 5. Scena ultima (published version). Vieni al mar
    60. 60Act 5. Scena ultima (published version). Altri mai da ignota sponda
    61. 61Act 5. Scena ultima (published version). Vieni al mar
    62. 62Act 5. Scena ultima (published version). Presto fugge la beltà
    63. 63Act 5. Scena ultima (published version). Sempre a te sarò fedele
    64. 64Act 5. Scena ultima (published version). Vieni al mar
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Magdalena Kozená Primary Artist
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