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Menuet from Orfeo ed Euridice, Christoph Willibald Gluck
Orfeo ed Euridice (Orpheus and Eurydice) is one of the first of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s operas that begins to incorporate Gluck’s new ideas of opera reform. Abandoning the excesses of the Baroque in favor of a balance between music and drama, and a greater freedom of expression, Orfeo ed Euridice is very much a product of the Age of Reason.
Orfeo ed Euridice was composed in 1762, to a libretto by Ranieri de’ Calzabigi, a poet also sympathetic to the composer's classical intentions, and premiered on October 5, 1762 at Vienna's Burgtheater. The work's great success was at least partly due to the wonderful interpretation by the great castrato Gaetano Guadagni in the role of Orpheus.
This movement, also known as the “Ballet of the Blessed Spirits,” is a popular extract, as is the contrasting “Dance of the Furies” and Orpheu's' heartfelt lament “Che farò senza Euridice?” (What am I to do without Eurydice).
This recording is performed by the Orchestre Pro Arte de Munich under the direction of Kurt Redel.
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