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CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK
(1714 - 1787)


German composer (Erasbach 1714-Vienna 1787). There is little news regarding his training. Gluck received no support from the family, and lived his love for music in open contrast to his father.
He moved to Prague and then to Vienna and in 1736 to Milan, where he studied with G. B. Sammartini and where, in 1741, his first opera was performed. The success obtained earned him commissions in various Italian theaters and in 1745 in London. During his stay in England he met Handel whose music was a kind of revelation for him.

In 1752 Gluck settled in Vienna, where the title of choirmaster of the Imperial Musical Theater was introduced into the court environment. The executions in Paris of Iphigenia in Aulis (1774) and of the French versions of Orpheus and Euridice (1774) and Alceste (1776) aroused great impression and caused controversy between "Gluckists", supporters of the "reform", and "Piccinnists", supporters of traditional Italian opera.
In 1780 the composer returned to Vienna retiring from any public activity.

Orfeo ed Euridice by C. W. Gluck

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