Il Parnaso Confuso

Mary Ellen Callahan (Euterpe), Julianne Baird (Melpomene), Marshall Coid (Erato), Danielle Munsell Howard (Apollo), Elaine Comparone (harpsichord), The Queen's Chamber Band, Rudolph Palmer (conductor)

Catalog #: TROY0655
Release Date: March 1, 2004
Format: Digital

Here we have the first complete recording of Gluck's charming one-act serenata teatrale for chamber orchestra and four treble voices, composed for the marriage of Hapsburg Archduke Joseph in January 1765. The Archduke's first wife had died. This time he was to marry the Bavarian princess, Maria Josepha. For this performance of the new Gluck work, four of the Archduke's daughters from his first marriage who were all accomplished musicians, sang roles in the new work. The new bridegroom's younger brother Leopold, conducted. That the four Archduchesses could successfully negotiate the florid soprano roles Gluck fashioned for them, is most impressive. One presumes that the youngest daughter, Marie Antoinette, was not so gifted. The serenata teatrale was presented as a surprise to the newly weds at Schonbrunn Castle in Vienna in the presence of the rest of the Hapsburg court. It was deemed such a success, that on the spot, Gluck was asked to compose another opera. The result was La Corona. The work was planned for November, but because the Emperor died suddenly, the work was not performed.


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Track Listing

Title Composer Performer
Il Parnaso confuso Christoph Gluck Julianne Baird, soprano, Danielle Munsell Howard, soprano, Mary Ellen Calahan, soprano, Marshall Coid, tenor, The Queen's Chamber Band, Elaine Comparone, harpsichord, Rudolph Palmer, conductor


  • "The music is light but thoroughly engaging, as are Rudolph Palmer's cast and players...Baird goes through this music like a champion figure skater..."

    – The Philadelphia Inquirer

  • "[Julianne Baird] negotiates the roulades with skill and makes much of the expressive aria."

    – Gramophone

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