Gluck Christoph Willibald
Beethoven, Ludwig van
Gluck, Christoph Willibald
Graf, Friedrich Hartmann
Grétry, André Ernest Modeste
Haydn, Franz Joseph
Hoffmeister, Franz Anton
Hummel, Johann Nepomuk
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
Müller, August Eberhard
Rosetti, Francesco Antonio
Stamitz, Carl Philipp
Minuet and Dance of the Blessed Spirits for flute and strings (Wq. 41)
C.W. Gluck "Minuet and Dance for the Blessed Spirits" for flute and strings (later arranged for flute and piano) is from Gluck's opera "Orphée" (1774), the French version of his famous opera "Orpheo ed Euridice" which was written in 1762. The gentle, pastoral dance very well reflects the Gluck's principle that the message is more important than music itself.
Hugh Sung (piano), live recording from the concert at the Riverside Church, 2015
Dance of Blessed Spirits
Orchestre Du Festival De Musique De Chambre De Paris, live recording from a concert in Versailles, 1986
Minuet and Dance of Blessed Spirits
Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787) was a German (or Czech) composer who is best known for his opera works where he introduced more drama by using simpler recitative and creating a new synthesis of Italian and French opera traditions. Gluck's reforms greatly influenced Mozart, Berlioz, Weber and Wagner, sharing similar concept of music drama with the later. Gluck was born in Erasbach (eastern part of Bavaria) and raised in Bohemia, at some point studying logic and mathematics at the University of Prague, as well as playing organ, violin and cello at Týn Church.
In 1737 Gluck went to Italy where he studied music and started to compose operas from 1741 onwards, initially for annual Milanese Carnivals. In 1745 he was appointed as a house composer of the King’s Theatre in London and met Handel who made a great impression on Gluck’s style. After touring around Europe for several years, Gluck arrived in Vienna in 1754 where he taught archduchess Marie Antoinette to play harp, flute and harpsicord. Later, when she moved to Paris to become the last queen before the French Revolution, she asked Gluck to accompany her and write a new opera to be premiered in Paris. Thus, Iphigénie en Aulide was composed and sparked profound controversies among traditional Italian opera lovers and the new style of Gluck. During Vienna period Gluck devoted his time to re-develop opera genre, focusing on human drama where music and poetry would be equally important. During 1760’s several new works of this new approach were composed: opera Orfeo ed Euridice, and ballet Don Juan.