Notes and Editorial Reviews
Italian libretto with English translation included.
One of the great documents of opera history is Christoph Gluck's preface to the 1769 published version of 'Alceste,' in which the author sets forth his agenda for operatic reform. Gluck's intent was to "restrict music to its true office of serving poetry by means of expression and by following the situations of the story, without interrupting the action or stifling it with a useless superfluity of ornaments." Along with 'Orfeo' and 'Paride ed Elena' (Gluck's two other so-called reform operas), 'Alceste' was the product of Gluck's collaboration with the Italian librettist, Ranieri de Calzabigi. Indeed, Calzabigi was an equal partner in these reforms by providing
Gluck with libretti that offered little opportunity for expression extraneous to the drama. Although Italian poetic language played such a central role in the reforms outlined in the preface to 'Alceste,' there has never been a complete recording of the original Italian version of this opera.
Until now, that is. The historic eighteenth-century Drottningholm Theater, Sweden, serves as the venue for this unprecedented recording, with Arnold Östman directing a fine cast which stars the American soprano Theresa Ringholz as Alceste. -
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Works on This Recording
Alceste by Christoph W. Gluck
Teresa Ringholz (Soprano),
Jonas Degerfeldt (Tenor),
Miriam Treichl (Soprano),
Justin Lavender (Tenor),
Adam Giertz (Treble),
Emelie Clausen (Treble),
Mattias Nilsson (Baritone),
Johan Lilja (Bass),
Lars Martinsson (Baritone)
Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra,
Drottningholm Court Theatre Chorus
Written: 1767; Vienna, Austria
Date of Recording: 08/1998
Venue: Court Theatre, Drottningholm, Sweden
Length: 146 Minutes 55 Secs.
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