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Gluck: Orfeo Ed Euridice / Kuijken, Kweksilber, Jacobs

Release Date: 01/01/1999 
Label:  Accent   Catalog #: 30023   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  René JacobsMagdalena FalewiczMarianne Kweksilber
Conductor:  Sigiswald Kuijken
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ghent Collegium VocaleLa Petite Bande
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 46 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This was the first period-instrument recording of this opera. Presented in the 1762 version (for castrato) and recorded in 1982, it still stands up very well. René Jacobs has since become one of the world's great conductors of 17th- and 18th-century music, but here he sings Orfeo. His tone is a bit glassy, and the last decade has introduced us to many more beautiful-toned countertenors, but Jacobs' exquisite musicianship and artistry are close to incomparable. His "Che faro", sung with the embellishments used by the original Orfeo, is taken very slowly (no longer the practice) and it's simply lovely--heartfelt, with long breaths and splendid dynamics. He sings off the text and convinces us of Orfeo's plight.
Read more /> Both Marjanne Kweksilber and Magdalena Falewicz are superb as Euridice and Amor. The former sings a women's-lib version of Euridice, with great emphasis and passion; she is an active part of this drama. Falewicz's Amore is similarly aggressive--not just run-of-the-mill perky, but quite pleased with himself.

Sigiswald Kuijken leads with what must have been startling attack 26 years ago; tempos are vigorous, winds are spicy, strings slash away. He treats the gentle ballet music with great care, however--it's an appealing oasis. No less than Philippe Herreweghe leads the chorus. The libretto is a facsimile of one from the King's Theatre in 1773; it is charming and not always easy to read. There's no reason why this recording of the 1762 version, along with John Eliot Gardiner's, should not be tied for first place--if, of course, you're looking for a countertenor in the title role. Bernarda Fink makes a fine Orfeo under Jacobs' baton as well.

--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Orfeo ed Euridice by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  René Jacobs (Countertenor), Magdalena Falewicz (Soprano), Marianne Kweksilber (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sigiswald Kuijken
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ghent Collegium Vocale,  La Petite Bande
Period: Classical 
Written: 1762/1774; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/1982 
Venue:  Roma Hall, Antwerp, Belgium 
Length: 105 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Version: 1762
Composition written: Vienna, Austria (1762).
Composition revised: Paris, France (1774). 

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