Gluck, Christoph Willibald / arr. Weingartner, Felix


Gluck, Christoph Willibald / arr. Weingartner, Felix

Alceste overture with Finale by Felix Weingartner

SKU: 4194 Category:



Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck – Overture from Alceste

(2 July 1714, Erasbach, Bohemia [Czech Republic], Austria – 
 15 November 1787, Wiedener Hauptstraße 32, Vienna, Austria)

with Finale by Felix Weingartner (1863-1942)

Opera Premiered (Italian version, Wq. 38): 26 December 1767, Burgtheater, Vienna
Libretto by Ranieri Calzabigi
Opera Premiered (French version, Wq. 44): 23 April 1776, Académie Royale de Musique, Paris;
Libretto by François-Louis Le Bland Du Roullet, after Calzabigi

Overture Revised by Felix Weingartner: 1897-98
Full score published: Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1898
First public performance: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 19 February 1904
Conducted by Theodore Thomas

The Composer
Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck enjoyed a long composing career, finding fame in both Vienna and Paris. Raised by a father who was a master forester to a Bohemian prince, he left home as a teenager and played in the churches of Prague until 1735. He worked for the Melzi family in Milan, where he studied with Sammartini and began to compose Italian operas. His first opera was a setting of Metastasio’s libretto Artaserse (1741), and his seven successes for Milan, Turin, and Venice ensured him an invitation to London in 1745. Handel had just premiered his Messiah in Dublin and London, and was turning away from (money-losing) opera toward the new English oratorio. Gluck spent one year in the British capital, composing two Italian operas for the royal patent theater at Haymarket and performing jointly with Handel, whom he called “the divine master of our art.” Handel, although he considered Gluck a talented melodist, retorted “He knows no more counterpoint than my cook.”

In the 1750s, Gluck worked with traveling opera companies and settled in Vienna, where he received commissions from field marshals, diplomats, and the Imperial court. In Rome, Pope Benedict XIV made Gluck a Knight of the Golden Spur, adding “Ritter” (knight) to his professional name. He became a master of French vaudeville imported from Paris and Viennese opéra-comique. When he met the author and librettist Ranieri Calzabigi (1714-1795) in 1761, many considered Italian opera to be in a rut. …


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Score Data


Repertoire Explorer




210 x 297 mm





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