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Noon Edition

Gluck: Orpheus and Euridice: Excerpts From Act II

The myth of Orpheus and his magical lute has been the subject of many great works of art, including Gluck's famous opera Orfeo ed Euridice. Gluck was a pioneer in the world of opera because he chose to create works that focused on dramatic and musical simplicity. He was vehemently against the "over-the-top" nature of opera during his lifetime. Gluck's Orfeo is widely regarded as the first of the composer's "reform operas" that sought to change operatic practice. In this selection, our hero Orfeo is blocked at the gates of the Underworld by the Furies. Using his brilliant musicianship and his lyre, Orfeo sings several songs that calm the Furies and convince them to let him pass. Gluck's Orfeo underwent several revisions after its premiere in 1762, including an 1859 version by none other than Hector Berlioz.

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