Christoph Willibald Gluck

In 2014 the music world celebrates the 300th anniversary of the composer Christoph Willibald Gluck, born on 2 July 1714 in Erasbach near Berching (Upper Palatinate). As with Jean-Philippe Rameau, the other great composer with an anniversary in 2014, with Gluck, music theatre is also at the very heart of his output. Whilst his reform operas, in particular the Vienna version of Orfeo and Iphigénie en Tauride, became part of the established repertoire, his contributions to Italian opera seria and French Opéra comique are rarely heard in the opera house either in Germany or abroad. The anniversary year of 2014 offers the opportunity to explore forgotten works by Gluck, and to discover new terrain. The edition “Christoph Willibald Gluck: Sämtliche Werke” provides a reliable basis for this; full scores of most of his operas and ballets have already been published as part of it, and in many cases corresponding performance material is also available. In the last few years in particular Bärenreiter has demonstrated its commitment to this publishing venture with the production of performance materials, including those for rarely-performed works by the composer. These include Ezio in the Prague and Vienna versions, La Semiramide riconosciutaTelemaco, the German Singspiel version Die Pilgrime von Mekka of 1780 and the ballets Les amours d'Alexandre e de Roxane and Don Juan, the latter in the original short version. In addition to this, the orchestral parts and vocal scores for the central reform operas will be successively issued in newly-set editions with an improved layout. It is hoped that this initiative will be welcomed by practising musicians, and thus enrich certain important facets of our overall picture of the composer Christoph Willibald Gluck.