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Antonio Vivaldi – Opus 2: 12 Sonate For Violin And Continuo

Antonio Vivaldi – Opus 2: 12 Sonate For Violin And Continuo

Recorded in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, October 1977

About the author:
The creator of hundreds of spirited, extroverted instrumental works, Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi is widely recognized as the master of the Baroque instrumental concerto, which he perfected and popularized more than any of his contemporaries. Vivaldi’s kinetic rhythms, fluid melodies, bright instrumental effects, and extensions of instrumental technique make his some of the most enjoyable of Baroque music. He was highly influential among his contemporaries and successors: even as esteemed a figure as Johann Sebastian Bach adapted some of Vivaldi’s music. Vivaldi’s variable textures and dramatic effects initiated the shift toward what became the Classical style; a deeper understanding of his music begins with the realization that, compared with Bach and even Handel, he was Baroque music’s arch progressive. Though not as familiar as his concerti, Vivaldi’s stage and choral music is still of value; his sometimes bouncy, sometimes lyrical Gloria in D major (1708) has remained a perennial favorite. His operas were widely performed in his own time.

About this work:

These works, often thought of in terms of being ‘immature’, are currently under recorded. This is a pity because although lacking in the depth of Vivaldi’s next opus, the masterwork ‘L’Estro armonico’, these sonatas are sophisticated and artful studies. Taking the rhythms and melodies from dance movements Vivaldi creates a showcase for the violin and explores the interplay between the base instruments of cello and harpsichord. The movements contrast stately, formal preludes with rustic and immediate dances. The exuberance of the faster movements encourages technical brilliance and the slower ones require a thoughtfulness from the player. There is in this music a real sense of Vivaldi striving to stretch the sonata form and to give the music a depth of meaning.

Track List:

The Players:

Stereo, ADD, mp3, 320 kbps, 320.01 Mb, 2 hours 17 minutes. Covers & info included.

Part1 —–   Part2 —–   Part3 —–   Part4

Joseph Haydn – L’Incontro Improvviso (Eszterhaza Opera Cycle)

Joseph Haydn – L’Incontro Improvviso

Recorded at The Grand Salle, Epalinges, Switzerland on September 1977 (opera) and June 1980 (arias).

About this Opera:
L’incontro improvviso (The unexpected encounter) is an opera in three acts by Joseph Haydn first performed at Eszterháza on 29 August 1775 to mark the four-day visit of Archduke Ferdinand, Habsburg governor of Milan and his consort Maria Beatrice d’Este. The opera is designated a dramma giocoso (a comic opera) and is an example of the then Austrian fascination with Turkish subjects.
The libretto by Carl Friberth was adapted and translated from the French opera-comique by Louis Hurtaut Dancourt, and previously set by Gluck in 1764 as the La rencontre imprévue. In keeping with Italian practice, Friberth constructed longer buffo finale texts at the end of Acts I and II.
Although not Haydn’s greatest success in the operatic field, L’incontro improvviso does include some high-class and varied music. As well as the ‘Turkish’ music, amusing scenes for Osmin and Calandro, the ‘painting’ aria in the last act where Ali describes the contents of a picture with orchestral help, and another aria “Senti, al buio pian” for Osmin with orchestral colouring, there is Italian lyricism evident in arias for Ali (“Deh! se in ciel pietade avete”) and Rezia (“Or vicina a te”). Act II has two powerful arias for sopranos; Haydn detached Rezia’s “Or vicino a te” and published separately in 1783. The superb first act “Mi sembra un sogno” contrasts a trio for female voices with muted violins, cors anglais and horns is a highlight.
The work is scored for an orchestra consisting of 2 oboes (doubling cors anglais), 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets, 2 horns, timpani, percussion, violins I & II, viola, cello, bass and continuo.
It is not known if any further performances followed the Eszterháza production, although a German translation was made for Bratislava. Danish musicologist Jens Peter Larsen discovered the autograph score in Leningrad in 1954, and the opera was subsequently broadcast in Russian in 1956. It was first staged in the UK at the Camden Festival in 1966. The first complete recording was made by Philips in 1980 in association with the Radio Suisse Romande and the European Broadcasting Union, conducted by Antal Dorati.

Track List:
01. No.1 – Ouverture (7:48)
02. Atto primo: No.2: Introduzione (Che bevanda) (5:18)
03. Atto primo: No.3. Recitativo (Ancor io la mia parte farò) (0:25)
04. Atto primo: No.4. Canzonetta (L’amore è un gran briccone) (1:27)
05. Atto primo: No.5. Recitativo (Eccoci finalmente) (0:42)
06. Atto primo: No.6. Aria (Castagno, castagna) (3:09)
07. Atto primo: No.7. Recitativo (Che il diavolo vi porti) (1:38)
08. Atto primo: No.8. Aria (Noi pariamo santarelli) (4:40)
09. Atto primo: No.9. Recitativo (Via dunque, sior buffone!) (0:54)
10. Atto primo: No.10. Aria. (Quanto affetto mi porprende) (5:58)
11. Atto primo: No.11. Recitativo (Care, entrambe amiche mie) (0:51)
12. Atto primo: No.12. Terzetto (Mi sembra un sogno) (7:59)
13. Atto primo: No.13. Recitativo (Indarno m’affanno di veder Osmin) (3:56)
14. Atto primo: No.14. Aria (Deh! se in ciel pietade avete) (5:16)
15. Atto primo: No.15. Recitativo (Per ora insegnameti il secreto) (0:58)
16. Atto primo: No.16. Duetto (Castagno, castagna) (2:03)
17. Atto primo: No.17. Recitativo (Osmin! Io ti conosco) (1:48)
18. Atto primo: No.18. Aria (Che siano i Calandri) (3:57)
19. Atto primo: No.19. Recitativo (È quello, che sta con il Calandro?) (1:34)
20. Atto primo: No.20. Aria (Siam femmine buonine) (4:38)
21. Atto primo: No.21. Recitativo (Venite, signor) (0:25)
22. Atto primo: No.22. Finale (Sangue d’un ginocchio storto!) (5:22)
01. Atto secondo: No.23. Recitativo (Che ne dite, signor) (1:24)
02. Atto secondo: No.24 (Canzonetta (Quivi in un seren gentile) (4:51)
03. Atto secondo: No.25. Recitativo (Prendi, Osmin) (1:05)
04. Atto secondo: No.26. Aria (Ho promesso oprar destrezza) (5:12)
05. Atto secondo: No.27. Recitativo (Giusti Cieli! Che miro?) (2:00)
06. Atto secondo: No.28 Canzonetta (Non piangete, putte care) (2:05)
07. Atto secondo: Recitativo (Ma come arrivaste qui in Cairo?) (1:18)
08. Atto secondo: No.29. Aria (Or vicina a te) (5:16)
09. Atto secondo: Recitativo (Prence, siete in cima) (0:30)
10. Atto secondo: No.30. Aria (Il guerrier con armi avvolto) (5:13)
11. Atto secondo: No.31. Recitativo (Felice amanti, andate) (0:40)
12. Atto secondo: No.32. Aria (Ad acquistar già volo) (5:12)
13. Atto secondo: No.33. Recitativo (Dico e ridico) (1:37)
14. Atto secondo: No.34. Canzonetta (Il Profeta Maometto) (1:10)
15. Atto secondo: No.35. Recitativo (Bravo, fratello!) (1:04)
16. Atto secondo: No.36. Aria (Senti, al buio pian pianino) (4:09)
17. Atto secondo: No.37. Recitativo (Come già dissi) (1:28)
18. Atto secondo: No.38. Duetto (Son quest’occhi un stral d’Amore) (7:09)
19. Atto secondo: No.39. Finale (È in ordine la festa) (3:30)
20. Atto secondo: No.39. Finale (Deh! Fuggite in quest’istante) (5:35)
01. Atto terzo: Recitativo (Amico! Eccoci dunque nelle vostre mani) (3:08)
02. Atto terzo: Canzonetta (S’egli è vero) (8:00)
03. Atto terzo: Recitativo (Principessa amabile!) (2:33)
04. Atto terzo: Aria (Ecco un splendido banchetto) (3:38)
05. Atto terzo: Recitativo (Straniero! Voi già siete tutti scoperti) (3:13)
06. Atto terzo: Intermezzo (0:47)
07. Atto terzo: Recitativo (Ah signor!) (1:37)
08. Atto terzo: Coro (Finale: Or gli affanni son svaniti) (4:29)
09. Tre airie e terzetto: Ifigenia in Tauride (Traetta): Ah, tu non senti, amico (2:18)
10. Tre airie e terzetto: Ifigenia in Tauride (Traetta): QUa destra omicida (3:53)
11. Tre airie e terzetto: Acide e Galaeta (Haydn): Tergi i vezzosi rai (6:16)
12. Tre airie e terzetto: I finti eredi (Sarti): Se tu mi sprezzi, ingrata (5:51)
13. Tre airie e terzetto: La Circe, ossia L’isola incantata (Pasticcio): Lavatevi presto (8:40)

The Players:
Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne
Antal Dorati: conductor

Stereo, ADD, mp3, 320 kbps, 458.91 Mb, 3 hours 36 minutes. Covers, info & synopsis included.

Part1 —–  Part2 —–  Part3 —–  Part4 —–   Part5

Francesco Geminiani – Pièces De Clavecin

Francesco Geminiani – Pièces De Clavecin

Recorded at the Castello Sforzesco, Milano, Italy in November 2000.

About this work:
Geminiani knew how to elevate the transcription to the category of art. Exactly famous is its orquestration of Opus 5 of its teacher, but it published other adaptations, among them, two collections of Pièces of harpsichord (1743 and 1762) based on its own sonatas for violin. More than simple transcriptions, these pieces, mainly those of 1743, they are authentic and admirable creations in which the composer, who put special well-taken care of in writing down ornamentation and including indications on dynamics, demonstrates to know the secrets thorough the instrument, as well as its recent evolution in the continent, spilling here and there drops of French aroma. They demand for its execution a virtuous clavecinista and refining, of clean fraseo, that makes arise the poetry that underlies in the slow movements -that wonderful Tendrement that does nº 10! -, it vibrates without gratuitous exaggerations (that in the end, they impress more than they move) in the expresses and it dances with dieciochesca elegance in the beautiful minuetos with variations (all a contribution to the sort) that close the collection. A clavecinista that is called, indeed, Fabio Bonizzoni. And that with a French instrument (Pascal Taskin, 1788) of crystalline timbre signs a splendid disc.

Track List:
01. Prélude (3:45)
02. Gayment (4:10)
03. Vivement (2:29)
04. tendrement (5:32)
05. Vivement (3:53)
06. Gracieusement – Tendrement (5:22)
07. Amoureusement (5:38)
08. Vivement (2:10)
09. Moderement (5:31)
10. Tenderement (3:50)
11. Vivement (2:54)
12. Minuet in C (8:12)
13. Minuet in G (8:21)

The Player:
Fabio Bonizzoni: harpsichord (Pascal Taskin, Paris 1788)

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 148.14 Mb, 65:31 minutes. Covers & info included.

Part1 —–   Part2

Joseph Haydn – Missa “Sunt Bonna Mixta Malis” & Ofertorium “Non Nobis, Domine”

Joseph Haydn – Missa “Sunt Bonna Mixta Malis” & Ofertorium “Non Nobis, Domine”

Recorded at The Stadtpfarrkirche Bad Tötz, Germany on June 4, 1992.
World première.

About this work:
The obvious importance of this new release is the first appearance on disc of two recent Haydn discoveries, the brief Offertorium Non nobis, Domine and fragments (the Kyrie and part of the Gloria) of a Mass Sunt bona mixta malis. But its real charms lie in two works for solo soprano, choir and orchestra composed to mark the entry into convent life of Therese Keller whom Robbins Landon, in his characteristically earthy insert-note, suggests was Haydn’s great love: ”We must imagine the young Haydn, heartbroken, watching the love of his life taking the veil”. Be that as it may, what seeps out of every pore is a warmth and sincerity, something akin to profound inner happiness, which makes one wonder just how deep Haydn’s love was for the devout Therese Keller.

Track List:

The Players:
The Tölzer Knabenchor
Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden: chorus master
Anner Bylsma: violoncello
Anthony Woodrow: double bass
Bob van Asperen: organ
Bruno Weil: conductor

Stereo, ADD, mp3, 320 kbps, 99.41 Mb, 40:28 minutes. Covers & info included.


George Frideric Händel – Ariodante

George Frideric Händel – Ariodante

Recorded June 7-11, 1995 in the Stadthalle, Göttingen, Germany.

About this opera:
Ariodante (HWV 33) is an opera seria in three acts by Handel. The anonymous Italian libretto was based on a work by Antonio Salvi, which in turn was adapted from Canti 5 and 6 of Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso. Each act contains opportunities for dance, originally composed for dancer Marie Sallé and her company. The opera was first performed in the Covent Garden Theatre, London, on 8 January 1735. Ariodante opened Handel’s first season at Covent Garden and successfully competed against the rival Opera of the Nobility, supported by the Prince of Wales. Handel had the tacit and financial support of the King and Queen and, more vocally, of the Princess Royal. The opera received 11 performances during its premiere season at Covent Garden. Like Handel’s other works in the opera seria genre, Ariodante, despite its initial success, fell into oblivion for more than two hundred years. An edition of the score was published in the early 1960s, from the Hallische Händel Ausgabe. In the 1970s, the work began to be revived, and has come to be considered one of Handel’s finest operas. Charles Cudworth has discussed the influence of French dance music in the opera. Winton Dean has noted that Act II of the opera, in its original version, is the only act in a Handel opera which ends with accompanied recitative.

Track List:
01. Act I: Overture: (Largo, Allegro) (2:54)
02. Act I: Overture: (Allegro) (1:59)
03. Act I: Arioso: Vezzi, lusighe (2:34)
04. Act I: Recitative: – Ami dunque, oh Signora? (0:53)
05. Act I: Aria: Orrida a gl’occhi miei (2:28)
06. Act I: Recitative: Orgogliosa beltade! (0:35)
07. Act I: Aria: Apri le luci (4:14)
08. Act I: Recitative: Mie spranze, che fate? (0:30)
09. Act I: Aria: Coperta la frode (4:21)
10. Act I: Arioso: Qui d’amor (2:00)
11. Act I: Recitative: T’amero dunque sempre (0:43)
12. Act I: Duetto: Prendi da questo mano (1:56)
13. Act I: Recitative: Non vi turbate (1:29)
14. Act I: Aria: Volate, amori (3:54)
15. Act I: Recitative: Vanne pronto (0:40)
16. Act I: Aria: Voli colla sua tromba (6:08)
17. Act I: Recitative: Oh, felice mio core! (0:14)
18. Act I: Aria: Con l’ali di costanza (6:59)
19. Act I: Recitative: Conosco il merto tuo (1:20)
20. Act I: Aria: Spero per voi (4:01)
21. Act I: Recitative: Dalinda, in occidente (0:29)
22. Act I: Aria: Del mio sol vezzosi rai (5:38)
23. Act I: Recitative: Ah! che quest’alma amante (0:16)
24. Act I: Aria: Il primo ardor (4:01)
25. Act I: Recitative: Pare, ovunque m’aggiri (0:50)
26. Act I: Sinfonia: (Larghetto) (0:42)
27. Act I: Duetto: Se rinasce nel mio cor (1:08)
28. Act I: Coro: Si godete al vostro amor (1:00)
29. Act I: Ballo (1:35)
30. Act I: Ballo: Mussete (Lentement) (1:26)
31. Act I: Ballo: Mussete (Andante) (1:01)
32. Act I: Ballo: (Allegro) (1:30)
33. Act I: Coro: Si godete al vostro amor (1:07)
01. Act II: Sinfonia (0:51)
02. Act II: Recitative: Di Dalinda l’amore (1:36)
03. Act II: Aria: Tu preparati a morire (3:53)
04. Act II: Recitative: Ginevra? (0:27)
05. Act II: Aria: Tu vivi e punito (4:09)
06. Act II: Recitative: E vivo ancora? (0:24)
07. Act II: Aria: Scherza infida (8:45)
08. Act II: Recitative: La stral ferí nel segno (0:37)
09. Act II: Airoso: Se tanto piace al cor (3:50)
10. Act II: Recitative: Felice fu il mio inganno (0:11)
11. Act II: Aria: Se l’inganno sortisce (4:34)
12. Act II: Recitative: Andiam, fidi, al consiglio (1:19)
13. Act II: Aria: Invida sorte (5:10)
14. Act II: Aria: Mi palpita il core (2:28)
15. Act II: Recitative: Stà lieta, oh Principessa (1:21)
16. Act II: Recitative: Mio Rè (1:09)
17. Act II: Aria: Il tuo sangue (4:53)
18. Act II: Recitative: Quante sventure (0:21)
19. Act II: Accompagnato: A me impudica? (1:59)
20. Act II: Aria: Il mio crudel martoro (8:12)
21. Act II: Ballo: Entrée des Songes agréables (2:22)
22. Act II: Ballo: Entrée des Songes funestes (1:43)
23. Act II: Ballo: Entrée des Songes agréables effrayés (2:13)
24. Act II: Accompagnato: Che vidi? (0:28)
25. Act II: Airoso: Se tanto piace al cor (1:56)
26. Act II: Recitative: Andiam, fidi, al consiglio (1:06)
27. Act II: Aria: Più contento e più felice (3:11)
28. Act II: Ballo: Entrée de’ Mori (1:32)
29. Act II: Ballo: Rondeau (1:15)
01. Act III: Sinfonia/Aria: Numi! lasciarmi vivere (2:17)
02. Act III: Recitative: Perfidi! Io son tradita! (1:18)
03. Act III: Aria: Cieca notte (5:35)
04. Act III: Recitative: Ingrato Polinesso! (0:25)
05. Act III: Aria: Neghittosi or voi (3:18)
06. Act III: Recitative: Sire: deh! non negare (0:32)
07. Act III: Aria: Dover, giustizia, amor (4:05)
08. Act III: Recitative: Or venga a me la figlia (1:16)
09. Act III: Aria: Io ti bacio (2:26)
10. Act III: Recitative: Figlia, da dubbia sorte (0:39)
11. Act III: Aria: Al sen ti stringo e parto (3:43)
12. Act III: Recitative: Cosi mi lascia il padre? (0:28)
13. Act III: Aria: Si, morro (1:26)
14. Act III: Sinfonia (0:30)
15. Act III: Recitative: Arrida il Cielo (2:22)
16. Act III: Aria: Dopo notte, atra e funesta (7:02)
17. Act III: Recitative: Dalinda! ecco risorge (0:30)
18. Act III: Duetto: Dite spera, e son contento (5:10)
19. Act III: Recitative: Da dubbia infausta sorte (0:38)
20. Act III: Arioso: Manca, oh Dei! (0:41)
21. Act III: Sinfonia (0:24)
22. Act III: Recitative: Figlia, innocente figlia! (1:17)
23. Act III: Duetto: Bramo aver mille vite (5:15)
24. Act III: Coro: Ogn’uno acclami (2:58)
25. Act III: Ballo (1:37)
26. Act III: Ballo: (Rondeau) (1:12)
27. Act III: Ballo: (Andante Allegro) (1:42)

The Players:

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 573.37 Mb, 3 hours 21 minutes. Covers, info & synopsis included.

Part1 —–  Part2 —–  Part3 —–  Part4 —– Part5

John Dowland & William Bird – Goe Nightly Cares

John Dowland & William Byrd – Goe Nightly Cares

Recorded at The Maltings, Snape, Suffolk, Great Britain, in December 1987 and April 1989.

About these works:
The Lachrimae pavans form the English Renaissance composer John Dowland’s most famous instrumental work. It is a set of seven pieces written for five viols and lute, each of them a variation on the tune of the composer’s celebrated ayre, “Flow my tears” (used by sciencie fiction writer Philip K. Dick as the title of one os his most famous novels). The collection was published in London in 1604 as Lachrimae or seaven teares, figured in seaven passionate pavans, with divers other pavans, galliards and allemands, set forth for the lute, viols or violins, in five parts, when Dowland was lutenist to Christian IV of Denmark. Each of the Lachrimae pavans was given its own title by the composer, though the significance of each is uncertain. Lachrimae Antiquae (lat. Old tears) already existed as a lute solo.
Lachrimae Antiquae Novae (lat. Old tears renewed) is a harmonic parody of Lachrimae Antiquae.
Lachrimae Gementes (lat. Sighing tears).
Lachrimae Tristes (lat. Sad tears).
Lachrimae Coctae (lat. Forced tears) is a harmonic parody of Lachrimae Tristes.
Lachrimae Amantis (lat. A Lover’s tears).
Lachrimae Verae (lat. True tears).
The title page of the publication is adorned with a latin epigram: ‘Aut Furit, aut Lachrimat, quem non Fortunata beavit’ (‘He whom Fortune has not blessed either rages or weeps’). The “divers other” compositions included in the Lachrimae publication are: “Semper Dowland semper Dolens”, “Sir Henry Umptons Funeral”, “M.John Langton’s Pavan”, “The King of Denmark’s Galliard”, “The Earl of Essex Galliard” (dedicated to Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex), “Sir John Souch his Galliard”, “M.Henry Noel his Galliard”, “M.Giles Hobies his Galiard”, “M.Nicholas Gryffith his Galliard”, “M.Thomas Collier his Galliard with 2 Trebles”, “Captain Digorie Piper his Galliard”, “M.Bucton’s Galliard”, “Mistress Nichol’s Allemand” and “M.George Whitehead his Almand”.

The period up to 1591 also saw important additions to William Byrd’s output of consort music, some of which has probably been lost. Two magnificent large-sale compositions are the Browning, a set of 20 variations on a popular melody (also known as The leaves be green) which evidently originated as a celebration of the ripening of nuts in autumn, and in an elaborate ground on the formula known as the Goodnight Ground. The smaller-scale fantasias (those a3 and a4) use a light-textured imitative style which owes something to Continental models, while the five and six-part fantasias employ large-scale cumulative construction and allusions to snatches of popular songs. A good example of the last type is the Fantasia a6 (No 2) which begins with a sober imitative paragraph before progressively more fragmented textures (working in a quotation from Greensleeves at one point). It even includes a complete three-strain galliard, followed by an expansive coda.

The Players:

Track List:

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 315.85 Mb, 2 hours 16 minutes. Covers & info included.

Part1 —–   Part2 —–   Part3 —–   Part4

Christoph Willibald Gluck – Orfeo Ed Euridice

Christoph Willibald Gluck – Orfeo Ed Euridice

Recorded at Glyndebourne, Great Britain on June, 1982.

About this Opera:
Orfeo ed Euridice (French version: Orphée et Eurydice; English translation: Orpheus and Eurydice; Spanish Translation: Orfeo y Eurídice) is an opera composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck based on the myth of Orpheus, set to a libretto by Ranieri de’ Calzabigi. It belongs to the genre of the azione teatrale, meaning an opera on a mythological subject with choruses and dancing. The piece was first performed at Vienna on October 5, 1762. Orfeo ed Euridice is the first of Gluck’s “reform” operas, in which he attempted to replace the abstruse plots and overly complex music of opera seria with a “noble simplicity” in both the music and the drama.
Though originally set to an Italian libretto, Orfeo ed Euridice owes much to the genre of French opera, particularly in its use of accompanied recitative and a general absence of vocal virtuosity. Indeed, twelve years after the 1762 premiere, Gluck re-adapted the opera to suit the tastes of a Parisian audience at the Académie Royale de Musique with a libretto by Pierre-Louis Moline. This reworking was given the title Orphée et Eurydice, and several alterations were made in vocal casting and orchestration to suit French tastes. The opera is the most popular of Gluck’s works.
The opera was first performed in Vienna at the Burgtheater on October 5, 1762, for the name-day celebrations of the Emperor Francis I. The production was supervised by the reformist theatre administrator, Count Giacomo Durazzo. Choreography was by Gasparo Angiolini, and set designs were by Giovanni Maria Quaglio, both leading members of their fields. The first Orfeo was the famous castrato Gaetano Guadagni. Orfeo was revived in Vienna during the following year, but then not performed until 1769. For the performances that took place in London in 1770, Guadagni sang the role of Orpheus, but little of the music bore any relation to Gluck’s original, with J.C. Bach – “the English Bach” – providing most of the new music. Haydn conducted a performance of the Italian version at Eszterháza in 1776. During the early 19th century, Adolphe Nourrit became particularly well-known for his performances of Orpheus at the Paris Opera. In 1854 Franz Liszt conducted the work at Weimar, composing a symphonic poem of his own to replace Gluck’s original overture. Typically during the 19th century and for most of the 20th century, the role of Orfeo was sung by a female contralto, and noted interpreters of the role from this time include Clara Butt and Kathleen Ferrier, and the mezzo-sopranos Rita Gorr, Janet Baker and Risë Stevens (at the Metropolitan Opera). Among conductors, Arturo Toscanini was a notable proponent of the opera. His radio broadcast of Act II was eventually released on both LP and CD.
In 1769 for a performance at Parma which was conducted by the composer, Gluck transposed the role of Orfeo up for the soprano castrato Giuseppe Millico, maintaining a libretto in Italian. This version has not been performed in modern times.
Gluck revised the score again for a production in Paris, which premiered on 2 August 1774. This version, named Orphée et Eurydice, had a French libretto by Pierre-Louis Moline, which was both a translation of and an expansion upon Calzabigi’s original text. Gluck expanded and rewrote parts of the opera, and changed the role of Orpheus from a part for a castrato to one for high tenor or the so-called haute-contre – the usual voice in French opera for heroic characters – as the French almost never used castrati. This version of the work also had additional ballet sequences, conforming to the tastes that were prevalent at the time in Paris.
In 1859, the composer Hector Berlioz made a version of the opera – in four acts – with the singer Pauline Viardot in mind, adapting the score for a female alto. In this adaptation, Berlioz used the key scheme of the 1762 Vienna score while incorporating much of the additional music of the 1774 Paris score. He returned to the Italian version only when he considered it to be superior either in terms of music or in terms of the drama. He also changed the orchestration to take advantage of new developments in musical instruments. In Berlioz’s day, Orpheus came to be generally sung by a female alto or a tenor, as the original version for castrato became increasingly neglected. Operatic castrati themselves had virtually vanished by 1825, and performances of the original version for castrato became increasingly rare. The modern practice of approximating castrati by using countertenors as replacements only dates to 1950.
Finally, an 1889 edition, published by Ricordi, combined elements of both the Italian and the French versions, using again a female alto as Orfeo. This edition proved extremely popular, and consisted largely of Berlioz’s adaption condensed into three acts. It also re-incorporated much of the music of the 1774 French version that had been omitted by Berlioz. On occasion the role of Orfeo has even been transposed down an octave for a baritone to sing. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Hermann Prey are two notable baritones who have performed the role in Germany. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau recorded the opera, a recording which is still available commercially.

Track List:
01. Sinfonia (3:16)
02. Coro di Pastori e Ninfe (3:24)
03. Recitativo: Orfeo (0:39)
04. Pantomima (2:06)
05. Coro di Pastori e Ninfe (1:31)
06. Recitativo: Orfeo (0:22)
07. Ritornello (1:04)
08. Aria: Orfeo (1:21)
09. Recitativo: Orfeo (1:37)
10. Aria: Orfeo (1:25)
11. Recitativo: Orfeo (1:30)
12. Aria: Orfeo (1:26)
13. Recitativo: Orfeo & Amore (1:35)
14. Aria: Amore (0:47)
15. Recitativo: Orfeo & Amore (1:53)
16. Aria: Amore (2:09)
17. Recitativo: Orfeo (2:03)
18. Aria: Orfeo (4:37)
19. Danza delle Furie e degli Spettri (1:17)
20. Coro delle Furie e degli Spettri (0:29)
21. Le Furie Riprendono il Ballo (0:35)
22. Coro (1:21)
23. Orfeo e Coro (2:37)
24. Coro delle Furie e degli Spettri (0:50)
25. Aria: Orfeo (0:55)
26. Coro delle Furie e degli Spettri (0:52)
27. Aria: Orfeo (0:39)
28. Coro delle Furie e degli Spettri (1:14)
29. Danza delle Furie e degli Spettri (4:15)
30. Balleto (2:18)
31. Balleto (5:35)
32. Balleto (2:54)
33. Aria: Euridice e Coro (3:29)
01. Orfeo: Che puro ciel! Che chiaro sol! (6:04)
02. Coro di Eroi ed Eroine (2:13)
03. Danza degli Eroi (2:18)
04. Orfeo: Oh voi, ombre felici (1:00)
05. Coro di Eroi ed Eroine (3:00)
06. Orfeo & Euridice: Vieni! Sequi i miei passi (3:56)
07. Orfeo & Euridice: Su! Su e mi sequi, O cara (3:40)
08. Eurydice: Qual vita e questa mai (1:30)
09. Eurydice & Orfeo: Che fiero momento! (3:03)
10. Orfeo & Euridice: Ecco novel tormento! (3:54)
11. Orfeo: Che faro senza Euridice? (4:37)
12. Orfeo, Amore, Euridice: Ah! Finisca e per sempre (2:57)
13. Gran Scena – Orfeo, Coro, Amore, Euridice (3:41)
14. Danza di Eroi ed Eroine (2:15)
15. Gavotta (2:00)
16. Balleto (3:10)
17. Minuetto (2:08)
18. Terzetto: Euridice, Orfeo, Amore (3:39)
19. Balletto (0:35)
20. Balletto (2:13)
21. Ciaccona (5:20)
22. Coro – Trionfi Amore (1:47)

The Players:

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 304.27 Mb, 2 hours 07 minutes. Covers, info & synopsis included.

Part1 —–  Part2 —–  Part3 —–  Part4