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Gluck: Iphigenie en Aulide (Iphigenie en Tauride) / Véronique Gens, Salomé Haller, Nicolas Testé, Anne Sofie von Otter [2 DVD]

Notes & Reviews:

Two late and baleful tragedies by Euripides focus on the ill-starred daughter of Agamemnon. In Aulis, the drama of Iphigenia rages until she is spared. Having escaped to Tauris, Iphigenia finds herself compelled to kill her own brother before the fickle gods intervene. Gluck's operatic settings of the two stories are very rarely staged together, but Pierre Audi's production makes a darkly compelling case for their dramatic unity. All the lead performers here are experienced exponents of Gluck, and together they present a powerfully idiomatic experience

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 267 min.
Region: 0
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM 2.0,
Subtitles: English, German, French, Dutch


Gluck Iphigenie en Aulide; Iphigenie enTauride
By the early 1770s Christoph Willibald von Gluck (1714-1787) was dissatisfied with the reception of his latest operas in Vienna. He selected Paris as a city in which to try his luck with a comparatively new and still-evolving operatic idea - that of imbuing the characters with emotions such as love, fear, anger, rage, and jealousy. Henry Purcell (1659-1695) introduced such feeliings into his opera "Dido and Aeneas" (1688), but the concept caught on relatively slowly. For both his 1774 opera "Iphigenie en Aulide" and its 1779 sequel "Iphigenie en Tauride," Gluck drew upon classical stories from Euripides and composed some of his most adventurous music. He included an unusually high number of ensembles and a wide variety of musical structures and devices. He blended Italianate forms, such as the extended solo aria, with more French devices, such as the short, declamatory ariette, to produce truly masterful operas.
Time and the ever-changing tastes of concert-goers have a disconcerting habit of shouldering aside once-popular composers. Thus performances of Gluck's operas are rare nowadays. Some devotees of them may therefore welcome this DVD double album, but I am not entirely happy with it. "Iphigenie en Aulide" has a superb cast and is highly recommended. I wish that I could be as enthusiastic about "Iphigenie en Tauride." To describe the cast as "satisfactory but not optimal" seems dismissive, but that is my reaction to this production. Some Gluck-lovers might be happier with other performances of "Tauride."
Ted Wilks
Submitted on 05/20/13 by Ted Wilks 
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Works Details

>Gluck, Christoph Willibald : Iphigénie en Aulide
  • Performers: Laurent Alvaro; Frédéric Antoun; Martijn Cornet; Véronique Gens; Salome Haller; Christian Helmer; Nicolas Testé; Anne von Otter
  • Conductor: Marc Minkowski
  • Ensemble: Les Musiciens de Louvre Grenoble
  • Running Time: 229 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Studio/Live: Studio