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Gluck: Don Juan/Handel: Ariodante, Il Pastor Fido

Notes & Reviews:

These rarities of sprightly, energetic and utterly charming music make a welcome return to the catalogue at budget price. A contemporary reaction to the first production is found in the diary of Count Zinzendorf, who found the subject '.extremely sad, lugubrious and frightening... Hell appears, furies dance with lighted torches and torment Don Juan; in the background a splendid firework represents hellfire. Devils are seen flying. The ballet goes on a long time; at last the devils carry Don Juan away and leap with him into the flaming pit. All this was excellently done, the music being very fine.' Gluck's autographed score has not survived, but it would seem that the 1761 production contained many fewer musical numbers then the 31 which appeared in the published score and are recorded here. The couplings here from Ariodante and Il pastor Fido (The Faithful Shepherd) were cornerstone of Sir Thomas Beecham's so-called 'lollipops' and are beautifully rendered here. The recordings repr


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