Gluck, Christoph Willibald von

(redirected from Christoph Gluck)

Gluck, Christoph Willibald von

(krĭs`tôf vĭl`ēbält fən glo͝ok), 1714–87, German-born operatic composer. Gluck revolutionized opera by establishing lyrical tragedy as a unified vital art form. He studied music at Prague and later in Italy with G. B. SammartiniSammartini, Giovanni Battista
, c.1701–75, Italian composer. Sammartini lived most of his life in Milan. He was influential in the development of the Classical style of Haydn and others.
..... Click the link for more information.
. His first 10 operas, in the Italian style, were successfully performed in Italy in the years 1741–45. In 1752, after sojourns in England and Germany, Gluck became conductor of Prince Hildburghausen's private orchestra in Vienna, and for the next decade he directed musical productions at the Viennese court. With his opera Orfeo ed Euridice (1762), inspired by Greek legend, Gluck introduced an entirely new kind of opera, in which dramatic, emotional, and musical elements were artistically fused for the first time. To Ranieri Calzabigi, the librettist of Orfeo and also Alceste (1767), Gluck gave much of the credit for his new operatic style. In 1773, Gluck went to Paris, where his first serious opera with a French libretto, Iphigénie en Aulide (1774), was performed. That and subsequent productions created much controversy between supporters of Gluck and proponents of traditional Italian opera. His last important work, Iphigénie en Tauride (1779), is often considered his masterpiece, and it firmly established his reputation. Eventually, Gluck's emphasis on dramatic impact and musical simplicity became incorporated into the French operatic tradition, and his influence on later composers was considerable.


See his collected correspondence and papers, ed. by H. and E. H. Mueller von Asow (tr. 1962); biographies by M. Cooper (1935) and A. Einstein (tr. 1936); study by E. Newman (1895, repr. 1964).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Most notably, he was the first Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice by Christoph Gluck. For any singer, the distinction of creating a role is meritorious, but this opera, which paved the way for realism and natural presentation and marked the transition from Baroque to classical opera, is extremely important in music history.
of Cambridge) chronicles the musical quarrels that entertained the Parisian intelligentsia during the 1770's over whether Christoph Gluck or Niccolo Piccinni embodied the direction French lyric theater would take.
Mozart's "La Clemenza di Tito," Douglas Moore's "The Ballad of Baby Doe," Christoph Gluck's "Orphe et Euridice" and Franz Lehr's "Merry Widow" - at 7:30 p.m.
With former projects featuring composers Antonio Salieri and Christoph Gluck and singer Maria Malibran, Cecilia admits she likes to wander off the beaten track when it comes to choosing music to perform.
There's a long roster of composers with a Dresden history, from Schutz, Johann Adolf Hasse and Christoph Gluck to Bach, Mozart and the Schumanns.
Christoph Gluck's Orfeo ed Eurydice (1762) is considered the first "modern" opera for its balance of music and tragic drama, although a happy ending was supplied: Amore (Love) brings Euridice back to prevent Orfeo's suicide.
One is a slow dance trailing colored scarves in front of projected photographs while she reads an essay she wrote about "inner homelessness" and "Dance of the Blessed Spirits" by Christoph Gluck plays in the background.