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Classical - Released May 18, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
This is the first-ever recording of this particular version of Orfeo ed Euridice by Gluck: the one he wrote for the Royal Theatre of Naples, for the 1774 Carnival. That said, it is based in part on the first, Viennese, version, dated 1762 (in which Orpheus was sung by an alto castrato), but also on the 1769 revision for Parma, where the role of Orpheus was given to a male soprano. The notes, the tonalities, the instrumentation, the tempos and the number of dynamics underwent substantial modifications in the version for the Neapolitan Carnival: the work is at once perfectly recognisable, and yet different from its normal form; and some completely new numbers are added, of which the first is quite possibly the work of dilettante aristocrat Diego Naselli, and maybe the second, too. The orchestration has also undergone many modifications, surely to do with local constraints and availabilities. The Neapolitan success of 1774 was such that in November of the same year, the famous Teatro San Carlo took on the work – again in a new version, with not three but eight characters and several apocryphal numbers from Johann Christian Bach and other contemporary stars, which stretched the work out to three acts, whereas the present version only has one, split into six scenes. Orpheus is sung by Philippe Jaroussky, Eurydice by Amanda Forsythe, Amore by Emöke Baráth, while Diego Fasolis gives a spirited lead to the ensemble I Barocchisti and the Coro della Radio Svizzera (The Swiss Radio Choir). Lovers of Gluck will be delighted to discover yet another of the many possible facets of a work which has seen countless revisions and wanderings. © SM/Qobuz

Opera - Released October 4, 2019 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet
La Nuova Musica presents a new live recording of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, with countertenor star Iestyn Davies singing the title role. Once created to reinstate the “noble simplicity and calm grandeur” of ancient Greek culture, the opera continues to delight audiences with its direct and unpretentious appeal, epitomized by the world-famous aria "Che farò senza Euridice". This live recording presents the original 1762 Vienna premiere version of the opera, with Gluck’s exquisite evocation of the Elysian Fields from his 1774 Paris version as a small addition. © Pentatone

New Age - Released May 15, 2016 | Metafon Music


Classical - Released September 5, 2011 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Gluck wrote his opera seria Ezio in 1750 for production in Prague. (In 1762, after the formal and stylistic breakthroughs of Orfeo ed Euridice, he revised the opera for a Vienna production, but it's the original version that's recorded here.) The opera has many of the characteristics of Italian late Baroque opera; it's essentially a series of arias separated by accompanied recitatives, the formula that the composer reacted against in Orfeo. It's not Gluck at his most innovative or original, but it's a fine example of opera seria, with a number of impressive arias and some very expressive recitatives, and it can make quite an impact in a performance as fine as this one. Alan Curtis has a deep understanding of what makes early opera tick, and he conducts Il Complesso Barocco in an elegant, engaging performance that has plenty of momentum. The recording comes from a live 2008 concert performance at Théâtre de Poissy, but there is absolutely no audience noise, and the sound is immaculate and well-balanced. All the soloists are absolutely superb, and although this was a concert rather than a staged performance they convey a heady dramatic heat in their interactions. Contralto Sonia Prina exudes masculine aggressiveness in the title role and delivers Ezio's aria "Se fedele mi brama il regnant," a coloratura tour-de-force, with dazzling command. Tenor Topi Lehtipuu seems to grow in artistic stature with each new recording he makes, and he comes across with great dramatic force and effortless vocal agility. His aria "Se povero il ruscello" is one of the highlights of the album (and also of the opera; Gluck recognized this and lifted it for use in Orfeo ed Euridice). It's easy to hear the growth in countertenor Max Cencic's already formidable assurance and vocal distinctiveness. Highly recommended for fans of late Baroque or early Classical opera. © TiVo

Chamber Music - Released July 15, 2014 | Hungaroton


Classical - Released December 15, 2006 | Warner Classics

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

New Age - Released June 5, 2016 | Metafon Music


New Age - Released November 13, 2016 | Metafon Music


Opera - Released January 1, 2000 | Accent

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or

Classical - Released January 14, 2008 | Warner Classics


New Age - Released March 2, 2016 | Metafon Music


New Age - Released August 27, 2017 | Pincezzo Music


Opera - Released April 1, 2014 | Oehms Classics


Classical - Released March 2, 2018 | RCA Red Seal


Opera - Released January 1, 1994 | naïve classique


Opera - Released March 1, 2005 | Naxos


Classical - Released February 27, 2004 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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. The music is a jumble of Baroque and Classical elements: florid da capo arias, almost Mozartian recitative, and ensembles that show the emerging influence of comic opera. But the opera seria influence is unmistakable. The resulting stylistic hodgepodge can't be considered entirely successful. But it is interesting, and Christopher Moulds and the Capella Coloniensis make about as compelling a case as possible for it. Leading the cast, María Bayo struggles somewhat with the more ornate passages and has some intonation problems, but she also clearly understands this music, and in the end she makes for a satisfying heroine. Andreas Karasiak's short top range is a liablility in his role as the Roman Consul Valerio. Marina de Liso is excellent as Flaminia. But the show belongs to Verònica Cangemi in the role of Flavio, the hero. She tears into florid runs and rangy phrases as if she could sing them all day, and turns in a thoroughly exciting performance. Her tracks are the ones you're most likely to play over again when you listen. If you're curious about Gluck's work from the 1750s, you won't have many better opportunities than this. © TiVo

Classical - Released May 18, 2018 | Warner Classics

The prime attraction of this Erato release is the presence of French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, who is in fine voice, his presence alone is reason enough for Jaroussky fans to go out and buy it. Beyond this, however, there's a more arcane draw: the album presents Gluck's opera Orfeo ed Euridice in a previously unheard and little-known version. Gluck modified and adapted Orfeo ed Euridice several times, including reworking it entirely for French-language presentation in Paris in 1774. What's heard here is a different revival, for a pair of Italian runs in the years before that. This version was first performed on-stage only in 2014, but it makes an ideal vehicle for Jaroussky: the arias for Orfeo were transposed upward and generally fitted to the voice of a male soprano, giving Jaroussky plenty to do. The choral passages in this reading, with the Swiss Radio Chorus led by I Barocchisti conductor Diego Fasolis, are vigorous and clearly articulated, and to hear the performance at its best you might sample the Dance of the Furies and Specters at the beginning of Act Two and Orfeo's subsequent attempt to calm them down, showing Jaroussky at his formidable best. Elsewhere, sample around: the other singers are uniformly strong, but to an extent, I Barocchisti and Fasolis deliver a performance with Baroque punchiness instead of Classical grace, and if you're looking for the traditional sort of graceful Gluck performance, you may find them a bit jolting. There is no question, however, that the recording delivers impressive singing in a little-known iteration of Gluck's classic. © TiVo