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Gluck: Iphigenie En Tauride / Galstian, Gilfry, Christie

Gluck / Galstian / Gilfry / Walt / Jankova
Release Date: 09/27/2011 
Label:  Arthaus Musik   Catalog #: 100377  
Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Anton ScharingerRodney GilfryMartina JankovaJuliette Galstian,   ... 
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera ChorusZurich Opera Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Gluck‘s wonderful but neglected 1774 opera, inspired by the Greek legend, is treated with forceful and convincing simplicity in Klaus Guth‘s revolutionary production staged in at the Opernhaus Zürich. The psychological drama in a tense atmosphere of fears and traumas is underlined by Guth‘s use of huge masks and enclosed spaces. As Guth himself puts it: “I have often used such a system of masked figures to give visual expression to the inner psychological state of the individuals concerned.“

“When we look on what he (Gluck) was trying to reform, it means simplicity. It means essentially getting rid of things“, explains conductor William Christie. His typically transparent but never cold orchestral sound perfectlymatches
Read more the descriptive elements in Gluck’s score, while the cast gives a winning and deeply-felt performance of the tragedy.

Iphigénie – Juliette Galstian
Oreste – Rodney Gilfry
Pylade – Deon van der Walt
Thoas – Anton Scharinger
Diane – Martina Janková
Femme grecque – Anna Soranno
Première prêtresse – Lisa Lorenz
Seconde prêtresse – Eleanor Paunovic
Scythe – Michael Mrosek
Ministre – Thomas Pütz

Doubles:
Oreste – Paul Lorenger
Iphigénie – Catherine Villiger
Agamemnon – Bernhard Rubin
Clytemnestre – Eva Zmekova

Zurich Opera House Ballet
Zurich Opera House Chorus
(chorus master: Jürg Hämmerli)
Zurich La Scintilla Orchestra
William Christie, conductor

Claus Guth, stage director
Christian Schmidt, stage and costume designer
Jürgen Hoffmann, lighting designer
Helge Letonia, choreographer

Recorded live from the Zurich Opera House, 2001

Picture format: NTSC 16:9
Sound format: PCM Stereo / Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Subtitles: French, English, German, Spanish, Italian
Running time: 108 mins
No. of DVDs: 1 (DVD 9)

R E V I E W:

‘Mighty passions at boiling point’: in this phrase Calzabigi, librettist of Gluck’s Orfeo and Alceste, summed up the composer’s unique contribution to musical drama. Watching Arthaus’s deeply moving account of Gluck’s penultimate opera I found Calzabigi’s words constantly in my mind.

A worthy performance of Iphigénie en Tauride is both a rarity – it’s short but hugely demanding – and one of opera’s most intense and powerful experiences. This 2001 Zürich production is worthy. Economically employing stagecraft redolent of ancient Greek theatre – Claus Guth, the producer, has the principals persistently shadowed or mimicked by figurants wearing giant masks – it strikes unerringly to the work’s most painful issues. In Guth’s hands, indeed, this French tragédie-lyrique becomes a heart-rending, at times terrifying, modern psychodrama: Gluck’s neo-classical ‘diction’ may be sacrificed, but infinitely more is gained than lost.

The staging evidently inspires all its participants. Christie, perhaps less hard-hitting than other authentically attuned Gluck conductors, commands wonderfully well the piercingly simple lyricism that irradiates all the peak moments of music drama. Rodney Gilfry, opera’s answer to Brad Pitt, sings with beauty of tone and more aristocratic refinement than on the Telarc audio recording made in Boston two years earlier; the tenor Deon van der Walt is an impeccable stylist. At the centre is the richly talented young Armenian soprano Juliette Galstian. She may struggle at times with the vocal lines – Iphigénie’s G major lament taxes her audibly – but her sincere warmth of presence and voice communicates at every level. The attached Gluck documentary is full of stale clichés, the booklet essay likewise. No matter: for me the show itself proved overwhelming.

Performance: 5 (out of 5)

-- BBC Music Magazine Reviewing original release
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Works on This Recording

1.
Iphigénie en Tauride by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Anton Scharinger (Bass), Rodney Gilfry (Baritone), Martina Jankova (Soprano),
Juliette Galstian (Mezzo Soprano), Deon Van der Walt (Tenor), Anna Soranno (Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera Chorus,  Zurich Opera Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778-1779; Vienna, Austria 

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