Promoting Historically-Inspired Performances of Early Music and Baroque Opera

Home Page

Directory of Composers

Handel Operas

Handel Oratorios

Vivaldi Operas

Early Music Links



Early Music Festivals

Early Music Performer Discographies

New Books on Early Music

Charpentier Discography

Upcoming Performances with HIP Staging

Early Music Mailing List Archives



Home » Composers » German Composers » Gluck

Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck

(The composer called himself simply Christoph Gluck.)


Internationale Gluck-Opern-Festspiele Nürnberg 2012

Review of Gluck, Armide, performed by Opera Lafayette & the New York Baroque Dance Company, 3 February 2010.


Biography - HOASM

The Portraits of Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck

The Castrato Ascendancy by Richard Somerset-Ward from Angels and Monsters, Yale University Press 2004.

New Bärenreiter edition of the 1769 Parma Orfeo, reorchestrated and transposed for the soprano castrato Giuseppe Millico.

New Bärenreiter edition of Gluck's Demofoonte (Milan 1743).

Yahoo Group: Gluck [Latest messages]


Gluck. Demofoonte (Milan 1743). Forthcoming 2016. Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco. Creuza: Ann Hallenberg, mezzo-soprano; Timante: Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, countertenor; Matusio: Vittorio Prato, baritone. Vienna performance cast.
Gluck. Orfeo ed Euridice (Vienna 1762). DG-Archiv 479 5315 (3 CDs, September 2015). Video. Details. Booklet (pdf). Laurence Equilbey, Insula Orchestra. Orfeo: Franco Faglioli, countertenor; Euridice: Malin Hartelius, soprano; Amore: Emmanuelle de Negri, soprano. Includes commonly performed excerpts from the Paris version. Surprising that it's spread over 3 CDs, as it would have fit on two. I: 66:38; II: 38:02; III: 47:16. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Deluxe edition with DVD: FR
Gluck & Sacchini. Le Belle Immagini - Arias & Ouvertures. Sony 88843019242 (1 CD, October 2014). Booklet (pdf). Details. Valer Sabadus, countertenor. Alessandro De Marchi, Hofkapelle München, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Gluck. Opera Arias. Decca 4786758 (1 CD, June 2014). Booklet (pdf). Details. Daniel Behle, tenor. George Petrou, Armonia Atenea. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Gluck. La Clemenza di Tito (Naples 1752). dhm (4 CDs, May 2014). Details. Booklet (pdf). Werner Ehrhardt, L'Arte del Mondo. Vitellia: Laura Aikin, soprano; Sesto: Rafaella Milanesi, soprano; Servillia: Arantza Ezenarro, soprano; Annio: Valer Sabadus, countertenor; Publio: Flavio Ferri-Benedetti, countertenor; Tito: Rainer Trost, tenor. This is a great Gluck opera seria with a superb performance by Rafaella Milanesi in the Cafferelli role. While the live recording is very good, with minimal stage noise, it's unfortunate that they didn't record in studio. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Gluck, revised by Wagner (Dresden 1847). Iphigenia in Aulis. Oehms Classics OC 953 (2 CDs, February 2014). Booklet (pdf). Details (pdf). Christoph Spering, Das Neue Orchester, Chorus Musicus Köln. Iphigenia: Camilla Nylund, soprano; Klytämnestra: Michelle Breedt, contralto; Achilles: Christian Elsner, tenor; Agamemnon: Oliver Zwarg, bass; Kalchas: Raimund Nolte, bass; Arcas: Thilo Dahlmann, bass. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Gluck. Ipermestra (Venice 1744). RCOC. Forthcoming. Details (pdf). Juan Bautista Otero, Real Compañía Ópera de Cámara (RCOC). Danao: Magnus Staveland, tenor; Ipermestra: Verónica Cangemi or Sabina Puértolas, soprano; Linceo: Sunhae Im, soprano; Elpinice: Sara Mingardo, contralto; Plistene: Mari Eriksmoen, soprano; Adrasto: Luciano Botelho, tenor.
Handel, Hasse, Smith, Arne, Gluck, Guadagni. Arias for Guadagni - The First Modern Castrato. Hyperion CDA 67924 (1 CD, May 2012). Details. Iestyn Davies, countertenor. Jonathan Cohen, Arcangelo. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Gluck. Il Trionfo di Clelia (Bologna 1763). MDG 609 1733-2 (3 CDs, March 2012). Video. Giuseppe Sigismondi de Risio, Armonia Atenea. Clelia: Hélène Le Corre, soprano; Orazio: Mary-Ellen Nesi, mezzo-soprano; Tarquinio: Irini Karaianni, mezzo-soprano; Larissa: Burçu Uyar, soprano; Porsenna: Vassilis Kavayias, tenor; Mannio: Florin Cesar Ouatou, countertenor. Overall a nice recording of a great opera, but I would have preferred harpsichord rather than fortepiano continuo. Libretto in Italian only, and there's no historical English translation of this Metastasio libretto. When the greedy record companies charge full price for an opera but fail to provide an English libretto translation when none is available elsewhere, who can blame consumers for copying? US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Gluck. Ezio (Prague version, 1750). Virgin Classics 0709292 (2 CDs, September 2011). Booklet (pdf). Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco. Onorio: Mayuko Karasava, soprano; Fulvia: Ann Hallenberg, mezzo-soprano; Ezio: Sonia Prina, contralto; Valentiniano III: Max Emanuel Cencic, countertenor; Massimo: Topi Lehtipuu, tenor; Varo: Julian Prégardien, tenor. Of the three recent HIP recordings of Ezio, this is the only studio recording, and it has my favorite cast of the three. Missing more than 43 minutes of music (mostly recitative) included in the Coviello recording, which I also recommend. The Oehms recording of the revised 1763/64 Vienna version is horribly overloaded and virtually unlistenable. I: 69:27; II: 77:26. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Gluck. Five Symphonies. cpo 777 411-2 (1 CD, May 2011). Michi Gaigg, L'Orfeo Barockorchester. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Gluck. Blessed Spirit - The Operas of Gluck. Wigmore Hall Live WHLive0037 (1 CD, May 2010). Details. Ian Page, Classical Opera Company. Sophie Bevan, soprano; Ailish Tynan, soprano; Anna Stéphany, mezzo-soprano. Arias from Semiramide riconosciuta, Ezio, La clemenza di Tito, Antigono, Telemaco, Il re pastore, L'ivrogne corrigé, Orfeo ed Euridice, Alceste, Paride ed Elena, Iphigénie en Aulide & Armide. A dull and annoying recording. There's lots of heavy vibrato, and every cut ends with applause that should have been deleted. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Gluck. Le Cinesi (Serenata, Schlosshof 1754, Vienna 1755). Virgin Classics. Forthcoming? (Uncertain after the death of Alan Curtis.) Il Complesso Barocco. Tangia: Ann Hallenberg, mezzo-soprano. Silango: Topi Lehtipuu, tenor. See Heartz, Haydn, Mozart, etc. pp. 152-3 for his translation of Dittersdorf's detailed description of the staging.
Gluck. Ezio (Vienna version, 1763/64). Oehms Classics OC 918 (2 CDs, May 2008). Michael Hofstetter, Chor und Orchester der Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele. Fulvia: Kirsten Blaise, soprano; Onoria: Sophie Marin-Degor, soprano; Varo: Netta Or, soprano; Valentiniano III: Ruth Sandhoff, mezzo-soprano; Ezio: Franco Fagioli, countertenor; Massimo: Stefano Ferrari, tenor. Terrible, overloaded live recording that's virtually unlistenable. Useful for the revised arias in the 1763 version, however. I: 62:19; II: 78:50. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Gluck. Ezio (Prague version, 1750). Coviello COV 20713 (3 CDs, September 2007). Andreas Stoehr, Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik. Valentiniano III: Max Emanuel Cencic, countertenor; Fulvia: Mariselle Martínez, mezzo-soprano; Ezio: Matthias Rexroth, countertenor; Onoria: Netta Or, soprano; Massimo: Mirko Roschkowski, tenor; Varo: Andreas Post, tenor. A generally competent live recording that includes more than 43 minutes of music missing from the Curtis recording. The great vocal deficiency versus Curtis is in the role of Fulvia, in which Hallenberg is vastly superior to Martínez. I: 79:00; II: 68:37; III: 44:01. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Carestini - The Story of a Castrato. Naïve 00946 3 95242 2 8 (1 CD, October 2007). Details. Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor. Emmanuel Haïm, Le Concert d'Astrée. Includes an aria from Gluck's Demofoonte. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Gluck. Bauci e Filemone & Aristeo (Parma 1769). Ambroisie/Naïve AMB 9995 (2 CDs, June 2006). Details. Two independent acts of the opera-ballet Le Feste d'Apollo, commissioned for the marriage of Ferdinand, Duke of Parma and grandson of Louis XV, and Maria Amalia, Archduchess of Austria. In addition to the two acts (mostly) recorded here, the opera began with a prologue and included an altered version of Orfeo for the soprano castrato Millico. The live recording cut off the lower frequencies, as in a substandard radio broadcast. The two recorded acts are short, leaving plenty of room for the missing prologue, which contains a great aria for trumpet and soprano. At least the printed libretto of the two acts includes the texts omitted in the recording. Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques, Choeur de Chambre de Namur. Aristeo & Una Pastorella: Ann Hallenberg, mezzo-soprano; Ati & Giove: Magnus Staveland, tenor; Cirene & Bauci: Ditte Andersen, soprano; Cidippe, Filemone & Silvia: Marie Lenormand, mezzo-soprano. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Gluck. Paride ed Elena (Vienna 1770). DG-Archiv 477 541-5 (2 CDs, May 2005). Details. Paul McCreesh, Gabrieli Consort & Players. Paride: Magdalena Kožená, soprano; Elena: Susan Gritton, soprano; Amore: Carolyn Sampson, soprano; Pallade: Gillian Webster, soprano. "Digging for Buried Treasure: Interview with Paul McCreesh" by Nick Kimberley. Gluck's third and final operatic collaboration with Calzabigi, after their triumphal successes with Orfeo and Alceste. Daniel Heartz writes: "The new opera was a fiasco, for which Calzabigi is generally blamed." (Haydn, Mozart, etc., p. 232.) The soprano castrato Millico sang Paride, and the other roles were taken by female sopranos. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Gluck. Iphigénie en Tauride (Paris 1779). DG-Archiv 471 133-2 (2 CDs 2001). Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre. Iphigénie: Mireille Delunsch, soprano; Oreste: Simon Keenlyside, tenor; Pylade: Yann Beuron, tenor; Thoas: Laurent Naouri, bass; Diane: Alexia Cousin, soprano; Première Prêtresse: Claire Delgado-Boge, soprano; Deuxième Prêtresse: Nicki Kennedy, soprano; Un Scythe / Le Ministre du Sanctuaire: Laurent Alvaro, baritone; Une Femme Grecque: Michèle Norman-Webb, soprano. Superb performance and recording of Gluck's finest French opera. The opera opens with a minuet, which quickly gives way to possibly the greatest storm music ever written. Today, we notice a similarity to the opening of Handel's Riccardo Primo, which would have been unknown to the Paris audience and presumably to Gluck. See Heartz, Music in European Capitals, pp. 852-873 & Julie Cummings, "Gluck's Iphigenia operas: sources & strategies" in Bauman & McClymonds, Opera and the Enlightenment. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Gluck. L' Innocenza giustificata (Festa teatra, Vienna 1755). dhm 8287658796-2 (2 CDs, March 2004). 2004 Best Classical Opera Recording. Christopher Moulds, Cappella Coloniensis, ChorWerk Ruhr. Claudia: Maria Bayo, soprano; Valerio: Andreas Karasiak, tenor; Flaminia: Marina De Liso, mezzo-soprano; Flavio: Verónica Cangemi, soprano. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Gluck. Orphée et Eurydice (Paris 1774). DG-Archiv 471 582-2 (2 CDs 2004), 474 993-2 (2 SACD Hybrids) & 474 994-2 (2 SACDs). 2004 Best Classical Opera Recording. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre. Orphée: Richard Croft, tenor; Euridyce: Mireille Delunsch, soprano; Amour: Marion Harousseau, soprano. CD: US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP || SACD Hybrid: US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Gluck. Orphée et Eurydice (Paris 1774). Naxos 8.66185-86 (2 CDs 2005). Ryan Brown, Opera Lafayette. Orphée: Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, haute-contre; Suzie Le Blanc, soprano; Catherine Dubosc, soprano. Another HIP recording of Orphée now arrives within a year of the first. Minkowski's version is a tough act to follow. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Gluck. Orfeo ed Euridice (Vienna 1762). Harmonia Mundi HMC 901742/3 (2 CDs 2001). Booklet (pdf). René Jacobs, Freiburger Barockorchester, RIAS Kammerchor. Orfeo: Bernarda Fink, contralto; Euridice: Verónica Cangemi, soprano; Amor: Maria Cristina Kiehr, soprano. I prefer this recent recording with a contralto Orfeo to the Kuijken and Gardiner recordings with René Jacobs and Derek Lee Ragin respectively. Hopefully someone will record the unreformed London version, arranged for Guadagni by J.C. Bach. It included more arias by Bach than Gluck. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Gluck. Armide (Paris 1777). DG-Archiv 459 616-2 (2 CDs 1999). Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre. Armide: Mireille Delunsch, soprano; Renaud: Charles Workman, tenor; Hidraut: Laurent Naouri, bass; La Haine: Ewa Podles, contralto; Phénice / Mélisse: Françoise Masset, mezzo-soprano; Sidonie / Une Bergère / Lucinde: Nicole Heaston, soprano; Un Plaisir: Magdalena Kožená, mezzo-soprano; Une Naïade: Valérie Gabail, soprano; Aronte: Vincent Le Texier, baritone; Artémidore / Le Chevalier danois: Yann Beuron, tenor; Ubalde: Brett Polegato, baritone. A fine recording of Gluck's opera on the same Quinault libretto set by Lully. Gluck based a chaconne on a theme by Lully. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Gluck. Don Juan (Vienna 1761) & Semiramis (Vienna 1765). Ballet Pantomimes. Sony Vivarte SK 53119 (1 CD 1993). Bruno Weil, Tafelmusik. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Gluck. Trio Sonatas. Challenge Classics 72122 (1 CD 2004). Reinhard Goebel, violin, Musica Antiqua Köln. Stephan Schardt, violin; Klaus-Dieter Brandt, cello; Leon Berben, harpsichord. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Gluck. Lieder et musique de chambre. Assai 222 272 (1 CD 2002). Martin Gester, Le Parlement de Musique. Kirsten Blases, Stéphan van Dyck. "An attractive recital, which intersperses vocal numbers among trio sonatas." Peter Branscombe, Early Music Review 9/02. UK | FR | DE
Gluck. Il Parnaso Confuso (Serenata, Vienna 1765). Agorà Musica "Baroque Way" AG 281.1 (1 CD 2001). Adriano Bassi, Gruppo Barocco Musincanto. Apollo: Dan Shen, sopranist; Melpomene: Desirée Restivo, soprano; Euterpe: Ilaria Torciani, soprano; Erato: Magdalena Aparta, soprano. The four oldest daughters of Maria Theresa comprised the original cast, while 9-year-old Marie Antoinette performed as a dancer. This CD went out of print very quickly. UK | FR | DE | JP
Gluck. Italian Arias. Decca 467 248-2 (1 CD); 470 611-2 (1 SACD). Cecilia Bartoli, Bernard Forck, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. Bartoli should have been a mime. Her greatest strengths are her facial expressions and her ability to sell overpriced tickets to star-struck fans. Her greatest weakness is her wobbly and raspy voice, which should be permanently retired. Yet another CD with an obnoxious, strumming guitar. Not well recorded. The best feature: a nice booklet! CD: US | UK | DE | FR | CA || SACD: US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Gluck. Alceste (Paris version 1776). Philips Classics. 289 470 293-2 (2 CDs 2002). John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir. Alceste: Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano; Admète: Paul Groves, tenor; Le Grand-Prêtre d'Apollon / Hercule: Dietrich Henschell, bass; Evandre: Yann Beuron, tenor; Un Hérault d'armes / Apollon: Ludovic Tézier, baritone; L'Oracle / Un Dieu Infernal: Nicolas Testé, bass; Coryphées: Joanne Lunn, soprano; Katharine Fuge, soprano. (Audio-only release of the incomplete 2000 DVD.) The French version is quite different from the original Vienna version, and this recording is the best to date of either version. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Gluck. Alceste (Vienna version 1767). Naxos 8.660066/68 (3 CDs 1999). Arnold Östman, Drottningholm Theatre Orchestra & Chorus. Alceste: Theresa Ringholz, soprano; Admeto: Justin Lavender, tenor; Evandro: Jonas Degerfeldt, tenor; Ismene: Miriam Treichl, soprano; Gran sacerdote / Apollo: Lars Martinsson, baritone; Eumelo: Adam Giertz, treble; Aspania: Emelie Clausen, treble; Un banditore: Mattias Nilsson, baritone; L'oracolo: Johan Lilja, bass. How far the Drottningholm group have fallen since their excellent Mozart opera recordings on L'Oiseau-Lyre! This sounds like an unrehearsed production recorded through a crack in the ceiling. It's excruciatingly boring, even though Alceste is a great opera. Considering the small amount Naxos must have paid, Drottningholm might have been better advised to pass up the money to preserve their reputation. For an analysis of the opera, see Heartz, Haydn, Mozart, etc., pp. 217-234. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Gluck. Echo et Narcisse (Paris 1779). Harmonia Mundi HMC 5201/02 (2 LPs) & HMC 905201/02 (2 CDs 1987). René Jacobs, Concerto Köln. Echo: Sophie Boulin, soprano; Narcisse: Kurt Streit, tenor; Amour: Deborah Massell, soprano; Eglé: Gertrud Hoffstedt, soprano; Aglaé: Christina Högman, soprano; Cynire: Peter Galliard, tenor; Thanais: Hanne Krogen; Sylphie: Eva Marie Tersson; Premier Berger: Seiji Makino; Deuxième Berger: Janusz Niziolek. Very poor recorded sound on this live recording. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Gluck. Le Cinesi (Serenata, Schlosshof 1754, Vienna 1755). dhm 065 EL 16 9575 1 (1 LP 1986) & CDC 7 47752 2 (1 CD). Reissued on dhm Editio Classica GD 77174. René Jacobs, Das Orchester der Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Sivene: Isabelle Poulenard, soprano; Tangia: Gloria Banditelli, contralto; Lisinga: Anne Sophie von Otter, contralto; Silango: Guy de Mey, tenor. See Heartz, Haydn, Mozart, etc. pp. 152-3 for his translation of Dittersdorf's detailed description of the staging. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued in April 2005 on dhm Splendeurs 82876683542. Other Splendeurs releases have included the original notes. The LP of Le Cinesi included the Italian libretto with only a German translation. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP


Patricia Howard. The Modern Castrato: Gaetano Guadagni and the Coming of a New Operatic Age. Details. Oxford University Press, July 2014. 256 pages. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Bruce Alan Brown. Gluck and the French Theatre in Vienna. Excellent, detailed account of opera and ballet in Vienna in the years around 1760. Includes numerous translations from Dittersdorf's autobiography, which is one of the best original sources. 525 pages. Oxford University Press 1991. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Rebecca Harris-Warrick & Bruce Alan Brown (eds.) The Grotesque Dancer on the Eighteenth-Century Stage: Gennaro Magri and His World. Details. 384 pages. University of Wisconsin Press 2005. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Patricia Howard. Christoph Willibald Gluck: A Guide to Research. 256 pages. Routledge 2003. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Daniel Heartz. Music in European Capitals: The Galant Style, 1720-1780. 1078 pages. Norton, 2003. Details. Chapter 8 (pages 801-881): "Gluck at the Opéra [Paris]". Superb continuation of Heartz's survey of musical highlights of the 18th Century. A third volume is in preparation. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Daniel Heartz. Haydn, Mozart and the Viennese School: 1740-1780. Norton, 1995. Highly recommended. A very well written and well organized book. Includes a chapter about Gluck and his operas. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Thomas Bauman & Marita Petzoldt McClymonds (eds.) Opera and the Enlightenment. Cambridge University Press 1995. Details. Excellent collection of scholarly essays dedicated to Daniel Heartz. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP


Christoph Willibald Gluck. Complete Works. Founded by Rudolf Gerber. Edited by Gerhard Croll. Bärenreiter. Approximately 60 volumes. List of contents.

Copyright © 2002-2015 John Wall