La Corona
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First complete CD recording with Julianne Baird and her stellar companions.

By his mid-twenties Gluck was already writing operas, set to the libretti of revered Italian dramatist Pietro Metastasio. By 1750 he had settled in Vienna. The young composer was soon engaged at the Burgtheater in Vienna to tailor French operas and opera-comiques to Austrian taste (frequently inserting selections of his own music). The Hapsburg royal family, Empress Maria Theresa in particular, was very fond of the composer. Gluck had composed music for regal birthdays and namedays and participated in the celebrations for the second marriage of the eldest son Archduke Joseph in January 1765. For the wedding festivities Gluck had been commissioned to supply a short opera with Metastasio's libretto. Four of Maria Theresa's daughters were accomplished musicians and sang in that new work, Il Parnaso confuso (available on TROY655). This was such a success that another work was commissioned: La Corona. But due to the Emperor's sudden death, the work was not presented; Gluck never heard it, and it was not performed until our own time. The work, based on a Greek myth dealing with a dispute over who shot the fatal blow during a hunt for a wild boar terrorizing a kingdom, has a clarity and a directness which is both refreshing and new. Gluck's stated credo, "I believe that my greatest labor should be devoted to seeking a beautiful simplicity, to avoid making displays of difficulty at the expense of clearness" applies very well to this lovely score. Opera lovers will rejoice at this presentation, another in this wonderful series featuring Julianne Baird and her stellar companions. And, as a delightful bonus, two examples of Gluck's relatively small chamber output are included as the perfect encores.
Christoph Willibald Gluck, composer
La Corona
Julianne Baird, Danielle Munsell Howard, Mary Ellen Callahan, Patrice Djerejian, Queen's Chamber Band, Elaine Comparone, harpsichord, Rudolph Palmer, conductor

"The singers are uniformly excellent... Rudolph Palmer and the Queen's Chamber Band...give a polished, lively account." (American Record Guide)
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iTunes CHRISTOPH GLUCK Il Parnaso Confuso