Otmar Suitner was archetypical of the type of Central European conductor who comes up through the ranks (i.e., opera house, theater, or if an instrumentalist, house orchestra) and worked his way up to leadership by dint of musicality. Some move on to what is essentially international "stardom," such as the case with Karajan or Klemperer.
The packaging for this recording, though handsomely produced, gives a perplexing impression of the content of the CDs. The album's title (in French) is Philémon et Baucis, though there is no reference to that title in the extensive program notes, which focus exclusively on a work called Le Feste d'Apollo. In fact, Le Feste d'Apollo, premiered in 1769, consisted of a prologue and three unrelated short acts, each a self-contained opera, with texts by four different Italian poets. This CD set includes two of those operas, Aristeo and Bauci e Filemone, the third opera being an early version of Orfeo ed Eurydice written in 1762, 12 years before the definitive French version of Gluck's masterpiece.
It may seem surprising that this is the first complete recording of Gluck's one-act opera (or, as he called it, serenata teatrale) La corona (The Crown) after more than 240 years. The work was never performed during Gluck's lifetime; written for the name day of Francis I, husband of Habsburg empress Maria Theresa, it was rendered irrelevant by the dedicatee's death in 1765. The listener will discover soon enough why no one has thought to revive the work since then.
Most opera fans are familiar with Gluck the reformist – the composer of Orphée et Eurydice who sought to balance drama and music in his works. But few know his early works which show him to be a master of the Baroque opera seria tradition he later rejected. L'innocenza giustificata, a festa teatrale written in 1755, is one of these works. Its structure – cobbled together from aria texts by Pietro Metastasio, but with new recitatives by Giacomo Durazzo – already shows a desire to create more dramatic continuity and interest than was commonly found in the Baroque period.
This is the masterwork, Gluck's last important opera, which convinced the teenage medical student Berlioz, when he first heard it in 1821, that he had to be a composer. He worshipped Gluck and took his side in the phoney "Gluck vs.Piccini War". He set himself the task of sitting in the Conservatoire library to copy out the entire score in order to absorb its lessons. Its directness and drama influenced his artistic style his whole life through, as evinced by key points in "Les Troyens".
This SIX CD collection of 101 favorite tracks is the perfect introduction to the world of opera, including the worlds most famous and popular tenor and soprano arias, duets and choruses. With a running time of over 7 hours of music this box set provides excellent value for money. This delightful collection includes everyones favorite opera highlights, from the lyricism of Puccinis Nessun dorma! and O mio babbino caro, to the power and might of Verdis Anvil Chorus and Wagners Ride of the Valkyries. Features some of the greatest opera singers of the last 50 years, including Luciano Pavarotti, Dame Joan Sutherland, Jussi Bjorling, Kiri Te Kanawa, Placido Domingo and Renata Tebaldi.
The opera is starring countertenor Valer Sabadus - one of opera's most exciting newcomers - now exclusively signed to Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, a division of Sony Classical. Christoph Willibald Gluck, widely known for fundamentally reforming the 'opera seria' wrote some of the greatest and exemplary masterpieces of this great genre before he started his famous reform of the opera. This makes this work a fascinating and enlightening piece in the puzzle for the evolution of opera and the eminent character Gluck. Gluck's setting of La Clemenza was first performed in Naples in 1752, ten years before his first reform opera.
Gluck‘s wonderful but neglected 1774 opera Iphigénie en Tauride, inspired by the Greek legend, is treated with forceful and convincing simplicity in Klaus Guth‘s revolutionary production staged at the Zurich Opera House. The psychological drama in a tense atmosphere of fears and traumas is underlined by Guth‘s use of huge masks and enclosed spaces. Conductor William Christie and his typically transparent but never cold orchestral sound perfectly match the descriptive elements in Gluck’s score, while the Armenian mezzosoprano Juliette Galstian as a fabulously good Iphigénie, the leading American opera baritone Rodney Gilfry as Oreste and the deceased South African tenor Deon van der Walt as Pylade head a superb cast.