Though originally set to an Italian libretto, "Orfeo ed Euridice", Gluck's first step in his reform of the operatic form, owes much to the genre of French opera, particularly in its' extensive use of accompanied recitative and a general absence of vocal virtuosity. In fact, it is generally supposed that Gluck frankly took Rameau's "Castor et Pollux" as his model when he sat down to compose "Orfeo": indeed, the plot of the earlier work, in particular, the rescue of Pollux by Castor from the infernal regions, has much in common with that of "Orfeo", so it is possible that Gluck took many hints from Rameau's musical treatment of the various scenes which the two works have in common. Therefore, it seems quite fitting that twelve years after the 1762 premiere of the original work, in 1774, Gluck presented his work to the Parisian public, readapting it, in the process, to suit the tastes of the audience at the Academie Royale de Musique. This reworking was given the title "Orphee et Eurydice" which is the version of this ever well-known piece that I want to present in this series of uploads.
The recording presented here is Minkowski's 2004 live recording of the work with the following cast:
Richard Croft - Orphee,
Mireille Delunsch - Eurydice,
Marion Harousseau - L'Amour,
Claire Delgado-Boge - Une ombre heureuse.
Finally, here is a link to the complete libretto:
Hope you'll enjoy :).
No. 15. Terzet & Finale - "Tendre amour, que tes chaines" & "L'Amour triomphe". In the original ending to "Orfeo", the dialogue between the three characters cuts straight to the final "vaudeville" which proves rather unsatisfying, while in the 1774 version a wonderful, intense terzet is sung by all three, very much needed to bring the conflict to a closing and to express the lovers happiness at seeing each other. This then overflows naturally in the final number that forms the last word of the opera.
Again, hope you'll enjoy :).