Gluck orpheus and eurydice

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Orfeo ed Euridice (Italian version), opera in 3 acts, Wq. 30

gluck orpheus and eurydice

Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice / Herbert von Karajan ( Salzburg 1959 )

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Orfeo ed Euridice was one of three operas composed by Gluck in an attempt to reform the Italian opera seria. The opera seria had many dramatic drawbacks, among them a stiff libretto full of contrivances and formal musical patterns that were given precedence over dramatic flow. Gluck had an admirable dramatic imagination that balked at all this regimentation. After he had come into contact with the librettist and poet Ranieri de' Calzabigi, he began to imagine a new form of dramatic opera. Calzabigi wanted to bring French influences to the Italian opera, and his libretti are monumental poetic works in an Italian rhetorical style.

It belongs to the genre of the azione teatrale , meaning an opera on a mythological subject with choruses and dancing. Orfeo ed Euridice is the first of Gluck's "reform" operas, in which he attempted to replace the abstruse plots and overly complex music of opera seria with a "noble simplicity" in both the music and the drama. The opera is the most popular of Gluck's works, [2] and was one of the most influential on subsequent German operas. Variations on its plotthe underground rescue-mission in which the hero must control, or conceal, his emotionscan be found in Mozart 's The Magic Flute , Beethoven 's Fidelio , and Wagner 's Das Rheingold. Though originally set to an Italian libretto, Orfeo ed Euridice owes much to the genre of French opera , particularly in its use of accompanied recitative and a general absence of vocal virtuosity.

It is equaled only by the lines of Virgil: Vox ipsa et frigida lingua, "Ah! In "Orfeo ed Euridice" Gluck has preserved the chaste classicism of the original. Orpheus was the son of Apollo and the muse Calliope. He played so divinely that trees uprooted themselves and rocks were loosened from their fastnesses in order to follow him. His bride, Eurydice, was the daughter of a Thracian shepherd.



John Eliot Gardiner on how Glucks Orphee et Eurydice reformed opera from the underworld

The imperial audience got their deus ex machina happy ending. But for the first two acts, at least, they experienced a work of startling intensity and novelty that integrated chorus, soloists and ballet in dramatic complexes and broke down the division between recitative and aria. -

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2 thoughts on “Gluck orpheus and eurydice

  1. Orfeo ed Euridice is an opera composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck, based on the myth of Orpheus and.

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