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A Gluck Retrospective (Blessed Spirit: A Gluck Retrospective) CD

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Conductor: Ian Page
  • Composer: Christoph Willibald Gluck
  • Audio CD (31 May 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Wigmore Hall
  • ASIN: B003LLMX5K
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 319,725 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Aria 'Il Ciel mi vuol oppresso' from La Semiramide riconosciuta
  2. Aria 'Se povero il ruscello' from Ezio
  3. Aria 'Se mai senti spirarti sul volto' from La clemenza di Tito
  4. Recitative 'Berenice, che fai?'
  5. Aria 'Perché, se tanti siete' from Antigono
  6. Recitative 'Ombre tacite e chete'
  7. Aria 'Dall' orrido soggiorno' from Telemaco
  8. Recitative 'Elisa? Aminta? È sogno?'
  9. Duet 'Vanne a regnar, ben mio' from Il re pastore
  10. Aria 'Non jamais un tel époux' from L'ivrogne corrigé from Act Three of Orfeo ed Euridice
  11. Recitative 'Qual vita è questa mai'
  12. Aria 'Che fiero momento'
  13. Recitative 'Ecco un nuovo tormento!'
  14. Aria 'Che farò senza Euridice?'
  15. Recitative 'Figli, diletti figli!'
  16. Aria 'Ah, per questo già stanco' from Alceste
  17. Aria 'O del mio dolce ardor' from Paride ed Elena
  18. Recitative 'Dieux puissants que j'atteste'
  19. Aria 'Jupiter, lance la foudre' from Iphigénie en Aulide
  20. Aria 'On s'étonnerait moins que la saison nouvelle' from Armide
  21. Trio 'Ah, lo veggo' from Paride ed Elena

Product Description

The Classical Opera Company was founded in 1997 by conductor Ian Page. It specialises in the music of Mozart and his contemporaries, performing with its own period-instrument orchestra, and is emerging as one of Britains most exciting and highly regarded young arts organisations. It has attracted considerable critical and public acclaim, not only for the high quality of its performances but also for its imaginative programming and, in particular, its ability to discover and nurture outstanding young singers.

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Format: Audio CD
Wow! This programme takes us on a wonderful journey through Gluck's operas, including arias from many of his relatively little-known early works. Anyone who needs convincing of Gluck's place among the great composers need do no more than listen several times through to this outstanding CD. Much of the music is gorgeous, especially when performed as well as it is here, and the balance between the familiar and the unfamiliar, the reflective and the visceral, is beautifully judged. Ian Page is emerging as one of the most exciting and stylish conductors of 18th century repertoire, and he is magnificently served here by sopranos Ailish Tynan and Sophie Bevan (a Classical Opera regular) and mezzo Anna Stephany. This is a live recording of a concert from London's Wigmore Hall, but it is often hard to believe that it is not a studio recording, given the precision and flair of these performances. Bravo to all concerned for a glorious tribute to a great but still underappreciated composer.
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Format: Audio CD
Ian Page and his Classical Opera Company gave a not quite complete performance (there were cuts both in arias and recitative) of Gluck's early opera seria 'La clemenza di Tito' at St. John's, Smith Square in 2005. In January 2010 they returned to this composer at the Wigmore Hall with a selection of arias and scenes spanning most of his career. A recording of that concert is presented on this new disc. Ian Page called the programme 'an overview of Gluck's work ... demonstrating his dramatic flair and the visceral energy and haunting beauty of his music. I hope that it might stimulate further interest and enthusiasm for this important composer.'
Not much, however, of the qualities mentioned emerges here. There is in any case something inherently unsatisfactory about a concert made up of isolated excerpts from many different operas where it must be hard to bring out anything of the various characters and their dramatic situations, especially in the unfamiliar works. Apart from which the three young female artists performing here are accomplished and tasteful, but not really distinctive enough in tone or style to compare with others who have sung some of these pieces (whatever else may think of her Cecilia Bartoli in her disc of Gluck arias dealt a knock-out blow in each one). Nor does the orchestra make much impact in the recording, sounding as it does recessed and under-powered.
Lovers of Gluck will be grateful to hear the excerpt from 'La Semiramide riconosciuta,' the sweet pastoral duet from 'Il re pastore' and the highly dramatic scena from 'Telemaco' (music which reappeared in the later 'Armide' for the fury, Hate): these three operas are otherwise unrepresented on disc.
Judging from the applause included the audience enjoyed the evening in the hall, but all in all the disc gives only a rather muted impression listened to at home.
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