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Gluck: Alceste [Box set]

Christoph Willibald Gluck , Arnold Östman , Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra , Drottningholm Court Theatre Chorus , Teresa Ringholz , et al. Audio CD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £11.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Performer: Drottningholm Court Theatre Chorus, Teresa Ringholz, Justin Lavender, Jonas Degerfelt, Miriam Treichl
  • Orchestra: Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra
  • Conductor: Arnold Östman
  • Composer: Christoph Willibald Gluck
  • Audio CD (1 July 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00000JYU6
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 204,492 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Alceste: Intrada 4:24£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Alceste: Act I Scene I: Recitativo - Popoli che dolenti0:55£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Alceste: Act I Scene I: Coro - Ah, di questo afflitto regno 2:27£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Alceste: Act I Scene I: Aria di Pantomima 1:31£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Alceste: Act I Scene I: Recitativo - Amorosi vassilli0:49£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Alceste: Act I Scene I: Coro - Ah, di questo afflitto regno 1:11£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Alceste: Act I Scene I: Recitativo - Tacete0:38£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Alceste: Act I Scene II: Coro - Missero Admeto 2:01£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Alceste: Act I Scene II: Recitativo - Popoli di Tessaglia 1:48£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Alceste: Act I Scene II: Aria e Duetto - Io non chiedo, eterni Dei 3:59£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Alceste: Act I Scene II: Coro - Miseri figli! 1:59£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Alceste: Act I Scene II: Recitativo - Non si perda, o miei fidi0:36£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Alceste: Act I Scene II: Coro - Ah, di questo afflitto regno 1:27£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Alceste: Act I Scene III: Ballo (Moderato) 1:15£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Alceste: Act I Scene III: Gran sacerdote e coro - Dilegua il nero turgbine 3:02£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Alceste: Act I Scene III: Recitativo - A te, Nume del Giorno 1:18£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Alceste: Act I Scene III: Coro - Dilegua il nero turbine0:54£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Alceste: Act I Scene III: Recitativo - Sospendete, oh ministri0:23£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Alceste: Act I Scene IV: Ballo (Moderato) 1:15£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Alceste: Act I Scene IV: Recitativo - Nume, eterno, immortal 1:01£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Alceste: Act I Scene IV: Coro - Dilegua il nero turbine0:56£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen22. Alceste: Act I Scene IV: Recitativo - I tuoi prieghi, oh regina 2:20£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen23. Alceste: Act I Scene IV: Oracolo - Il re morra0:26£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen24. Alceste: Act I Scene IV: Coro - Che annunzio funesto... Fuggiamo 1:00£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen25. Alceste: Act I Scene V: Recitativo - Ove son, che ascoltai? 2:46£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen26. Alceste: Act I Scene V: Aria - Ombre, larve, compagne di morte 3:45£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen27. Alceste: Act I Scene VI: Recitativo - Ah, t'affretta, oh regina 1:44£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen28. Alceste: Act I Scene VII: Coro - E non s'offerse alcuno? 1:48£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen29. Alceste: Act I Scene VII: Coro - Chi serve e chi regna 1:59£0.89  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Alceste: Act II Scene I: Recitativo - Ferma. Perche abbandoni 1:28£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Alceste: Act II Scene I: Aria - Parto, ma senti! 1:20£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Alceste: Act II Scene II: Recititavo - Parti, sola restai 3:25£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Alceste: Act II Scene II: Aria - Chi mi parla? 2:04£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Alceste: Act II Scene II: Coro e Recitativo - E vuoi morire, oh misera 3:23£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Alceste: Act II Scene II: Aria - Dunque vieni 1:20£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Alceste: Act II Scene II: Recitativo - Uditemi, fermate!0:51£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Alceste: Act II Scene II: Aria - Non vi turbate, no 3:02£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Alceste: Act II Scene II: Pantomima de' Numi infernali0:54£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Alceste: Act II Scene III: Coro - Dal lieto soggiorno 2:33£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Alceste: Act II Scene III: Ballo 1:05£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Alceste: Act II Scene III: Aria - Or che morte il suo furore 2:33£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Alceste: Act II Scene III: Ballo 1:45£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Alceste: Act II Scene III: Coro - Dal lieto soggiorno 2:16£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Alceste: Act II Scene IV: Recitativo - Signor, mai piu sincero 2:53£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Alceste: Act II Scene V: Recitativo - Adorata consorte 2:46£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Alceste: Act II Scene V: Duetto - Ah perche con quelle lagrime 1:27£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Alceste: Act II Scene V: Recitativo - Consorte! Alceste! 6:30£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Alceste: Act II Scene V: Aria - No, crudel, non posso vivere 2:27£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Alceste: Act II Scene VI: Recitativo - Oh tenerezza! oh amore! 1:32£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Alceste: Act II Scene VI: Coro - Oh, come rapida 1:07£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen22. Alceste: Act II Scene VI: Recitativo - E il cor non mi si spezza! 1:05£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen23. Alceste: Act II Scene VI: Coro - Cosi bella! Cosi giovane! 1:36£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen24. Alceste: Act II Scene VI: Aria - Vesta, tu che fosti 1:22£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen25. Alceste: Act II Scene VI: Coro - Oh, come rapida0:33£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen26. Alceste: Act II Scene VI: Aria - Oh casto, oh caro nuzial mio letto 1:52£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen27. Alceste: Act II Scene VI: Coro - Cosi bella, cosi giovane!0:58£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen28. Alceste: Act II Scene VI: Recitativo - Regina, ecco i tuoi figli 1:27£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen29. Alceste: Act II Scene VI: Duetto - Ah mia diletta madre0:20£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen30. Alceste: Act II Scene VI: Recitativo - Figli, diletti figli! 2:36£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen31. Alceste: Act II Scene VI: Aria - Ah, per questo 3:35£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen32. Alceste: Act II Scene VI: Coro - Oh, come rapida 1:09£0.89  Buy MP3 


Disc 3:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Alceste: Act III Scene I: Recitativo - Ah mio fido! 3:04£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Alceste: Act III Scene I: Aria - Misero! E che faro! 2:43£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Alceste: Act III Scene I: Recitativo - No, si atroce costanza 2:15£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Alceste: Act III Scene II: Recitativo - Sposo, Admeto, idol mio! 5:27£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Alceste: Act III Scene II: Duetto - Cari figli 3:29£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Alceste: Act III Scene II: Terzetto - Ma qual suono di voci tremende0:44£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Alceste: Act III Scene II: Coro - Vieni Alceste0:38£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Alceste: Act III Scene II: Recitativo e Coro - Ahime! Chi mi riscuote! 2:07£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Alceste: Act III Scene III: Sinfonia0:41£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Alceste: Act III Scene III: Recitativo - Mori?... Non vive piu?0:52£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Alceste: Act III Scene III: Coro - Piangi, oh patria0:46£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Alceste: Act III Scene III: Solo - Alceste e morta!0:36£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Alceste: Act III Scene III: Coro - Piangi, oh patria0:48£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Alceste: Act III Scene III: Solo - Morte trionfa0:21£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Alceste: Act III Scene III: Coro - Piangi, oh patria0:47£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Alceste: Act III Scene III: Duetto - Ogni virtu piu bella0:31£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Alceste: Act III Scene III: Coro - Piangi, oh patria0:48£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Alceste: Act III Scene IV: Recitativo - Lasciatemi, crudeli 2:17£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Alceste: Act III Scena ultima: Sinfonia0:47£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Alceste: Act III Scena ultima: Recitativo - Ameto, in cielo ancora 1:47£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Alceste: Act III Scena ultima: Coro - Regna a noi con lieta sorte 2:01£0.89  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Gluck's Alceste typifies his no-nonsense, reformed approach to opera. There are no wasted notes, no explosive high passages, no coloratura; in short, other than stark drama and beautiful, expressive, exclamatory music and singing, very little for a voice-loving opera fan to sink his or her teeth into. That said, this new set--the first recording of Gluck's Italian version of the work--will fill the bill somewhat if it's Alceste you're after. Teresa Ringholz is good in the title role, but she seems to understate the part; a bit more high drama would not have been out of place. Justin Lavendar is effective as her hubby, although he, too, has a very light voice. This undercasting may have been on purpose; it's Arnold Ostman with his Drottningholm forces on period instruments, and the entire scale of the show is therefore slight. Nonetheless, this is a fascinating if rigid work, and this recording is a good way to get to know it. --Robert Levine

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful simplicity 5 Jun 2007
Format:Audio CD
In recent years it has been the later French version of Gluck's 'Alceste' that seems to be favoured in performance (insofar as any of his works can be said to be favoured), but here, recorded at the 1998 Drottningholm Festival in that exquisite unique survival of an 18th century theatre, we have the original Italian version made for Vienna in 1767. It was the second opera in Gluck's new reform style made in collaboration with the librettist Calzabigi who probably wrote the celebrated preface to the published score that Gluck signed, and is more severely dramatic than the earlier 'Orfeo.' It lacks the picturesque and pastoral elements of the latter, concentrating entirely on the tragic situation of the queen Alceste giving up her life to save her husband Admeto from death. Because much of the opera is taken up with lamentation over the dying king and then over the prospective death of his wife, it is not an easy work to bring off in performance, but it has a magnificent musical score packed with memorable ideas that imprint themselves in the listener's consciousness by that simple directness of expression that is so characteristic of this composer at his best - the 'beautiful simplicity' called for in the preface. In the later revision for Paris Gluck tightened and improved the structure of Acts 1 and 2, but then rather spoiled things by introducing the he-man Hercules in Act 3 to snatch Alceste back from the powers of death. In the original version Apollo appears in the last five minutes, deus ex machina, to say the gods will magnanimously bring Alceste to life again. It is such a brief scene it seems like a tacked on afterthought, but at least all can end happily as 18th century opera should (only in the later 'Armide' did Gluck reform this convention). Read more ›
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Welcome 9 Dec 1999
By Michael K. Halloran - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This, the first complete recording of Gluck's original Italian version of "Alceste," is an excellent achievement.
Before this recording, I knew only the primary arias from the French "Alceste" recorded by Callas and Janet Baker. Both of these divas give an electrifying performance of "Divinites du Styx," the most familiar aria. Here, titled "Ombre, larve," the aria is simpler, less assured, and perhaps not as fully developed as the French revision. However, throughout the entire opera, the simplicity of line and the musical distillation of emotion which Gluck sought is supremely evident. To compare this work to the opera seria of Handel's time almost forty years earlier is to realize the true extent of Gluck's reforms.
The cast is, for the most part, excellent. Teresa Ringholz brings a lovely, rather soft-grained instrument to Alceste's music and sings with a firm line and dramatic commitment, if perhaps without the fire of a Callas or Baker. A fuller chest register would be an asset in this music, but that is a small point. She is quite good and dominates this set as she should. Justin Lavender here sounds a little unfocused and woolly, qualities I have not heard in him before, so I am willing to chalk it up to a peculiarity in the recorded sound. Other than that, he makes a fine Admeto. A couple of unsteady minor roles aside, the rest of the cast is very good.
Arnold Oestman leads the Drottningholm Orchestra and Chorus with style and excellent control. Everything is well-paced and the recitatives are lively and involving, never dull. Despite this being a live performance, the stage noises are almost nonexistant. Naxos has provided an English translation alongside the Italian libretto, and the cueing points are more than generous. While we are unlikely to have another recording of "Alceste" (French or Italian) anytime soon, I can't see this set being bettered. Tremendous value and an excellent buy. Don't miss it.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gluck's Alceste 16 Mar 2004
By Robin Friedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a rare CD in that it allows the listener to explore a seldom-performed version of a great opera that, in whatever its versions, is too little known. Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787) first composed Alceste in Vienna in 1767 to a liberetto in Italian by Ranieri de' Calzabigi. This early version of the work included a famous preface(1769) in which Gluck criticized the florid style of operatic composition of his day. He set out to reform opera by creating a music to fit and complement the passion of the text and to realize what he termed a "beautiful simplicity."
Gluck revised Alceste in Paris in 1776 with a French librettist named Roullet. This is the version more frequently heard. In it, Gluck compromised somewhat on the musical creed he articulated in his 1769 Preface to the Vienna version of his opera. The Naxos CD, conducted by Arnold Ostman with the Drottnigholm (Sweden) Theatre Chorus and Orchestra, uses the early Vienna score. It appears to be the only performance of the Vienna score of Alceste currently available on CD.
Gluck's Alceste is based upon the play of Euripides. It tells how Admetus, the King of Sicily, is told of his impending death and of how an oracle states that Admetus will be allowed to live but only if someone steps forward to take his place. Only his wife, Alceste, bravely comes forward.
The opera takes us through a scene in Hades, (Gluck's earlier opera, Orpheus and Eurydice also has a scene in Hades where the male protagonist, Orpheus, charms the forces of Hades to allow his wife to return to life) where Alceste promises to die for her husband. This scene is followed by a tearful parting with Admetus and the couple's two children. At the last moment, Apollo appears, releases Alceste from her vow, and allows both Admetus and Alceste the gift of life.
The story and Gluck's opera celebrates woman's love and the power of love to overcome death. (In some respects, Gluck's operas remind me of Beethoven's Fidelio.) The music is strong, angular, simple, and passionate. True to his announced programme, Gluck's arias are forceful and have immediate appeal. The work also is full of short orchestral interludes and pantomines and opens with a grand overture in the minor key which sets out the tragic nature of the story. Gluck's short overture is a masterpiece in its own right and was among the first operatic overtures in which the composer tried to set the stage for the action which followed.
The leading role of Alceste is performed by American soprano Teresa Ringholz and she performes admirably in this daunting, passionate role. Tenor Justin Lavender sings the part of Admetus, but the performance here belongs to Ms. Ringholz.
This CD offers the listener a wonderful opportunity to get to know Gluck's music and to hear a work that may be unfamiliar to most in its initial version. Gluck's operas remain widely praised but too little performed. This disc will give the listener Alceste in its simplicity and its passion.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A German Romantic view of Euripides 7 Sep 1999
By F. Behrens - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It is good to have not only a complete version of Gluck's pioneering <Alceste> in its original Italian form but a budget one at that on wallet-friendly Naxos label (8.660066-68). Here we have Arnold Ostman conducting the renowned Drottingholm Theatre Chorus and Orchestra, which more or less guarantees a no-nonsense performance of a work that was designed to strip away the silliness imposed on Italian opera by egomaniacal singers (what else is new?) and/or overly complacent composers (e.g., Handel). "Beautiful simplicity" was Gluck's goal and this he certainly achieved. Now this is not the Euripides version with Hercules providing laughs. Indeed, there is no moment of any real joy until the opening of the second scene in Act II and that is short-lived when Admetus finds it is his wife who will die in his place. The action moves along very leisurely indeed, now and then making one long for a display of coloratura. But Alceste is no Medea. As much as I have admired Teresa Ringholz in recordings of Herbert and Romberg, I feel she holds back the histrionics a bit, especially in the opening of Act II when she confronts the Gods of the Underworld. On the other hand, playing her as a frightening you wife is also valid. To each his own. The rest of the cast -- Justin Lavender, Jonas Degerfeldt, Miriam Treichi, and others--are adequate to quite good. Interested readers might want to compare the treatment of this legend with Handel's "Admeto," now available on Virgin Veritas label. A complete text with Italian and English is provided; and I want to thank Naxos for the very generous tracking cues to make life easier.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome 24 July 2000
By Santiago Barcon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This CD. Recording is excellent and the performers sing beautiful.Also, it expands your knowledge of other works.
When Naxos decided to enter the opera field I was reluctant of the results. Beethoven's Fidelio, and Alceste certanly show thet I was wrong.
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