Il trionfo di Clelia was premiered in Bologna in 1763, just one year after the famous and innvative Orfeo ed Euridice. Despite of composition's date, the work luckily follows the recitative-aria scheme of Gluck earlier operas. I think the so called italian operas by Gluck are definitely better than the latter ones. Unfortunately the discography of Gluck is still needing of an effort to present his earlier work. This wonderful 3CD set proves that Gluck was a master composing in the italian style. All of the arias are of an unbelievable beautiness, full of melodic invention. There are very few baroque operas I can think of with such a succesful progression of amazing arias (Hasse's Cleofide, and Ferrandini's Catone in Utica, and Schuster's Demofoonte come to my mind). This is my favourite Gluck opera to date concerning the musical quality.
The orchestra Armonia Atenea is first rate, serving very well to the rich orchestration of Gluck (flutes, horns, hautbois etc). A harpsichord was used in the arias whereas a pianoforte was chosen for recitatives, and I think this was a good decision, beacuse of the timbric contrast (also, the pianoforte player is awesome).All the singers are very good, being Burcu Uyar the weakest point, her singing is not bad, but she tends to scream in high notes, and her style seems not very accurate to baroque. Nessi is the only singer I knew previously from other recordings, and she mades a good job. LeCorre and Karaianni are also very good, as well as Cezar Ouatu (a pity he only sings one aria). The tenor Kavayias plays the role of Porsenna and is the surprise of the recording (this is apparently his first recording). He has a very agile voice, and a beautiful colour in the highest notes, his arias are also the most charming from the whole opera (especially "Sai che piegar si vede" and "Spesso, se ben l'afretta"). I only hope more early Gluck operas are recorded soon.