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Berlioz on MusicSelected Criticism 1824-1837$
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Katherine Kolb

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199391950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391950.001.0001

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Gluck (Part I)

Gluck (Part I)

(p.66) 9 Gluck (Part I)
Berlioz on Music

Katherine Kolb

Oxford University Press

This biography, one of Berlioz’s first major contributions to the newly founded Gazette musicale, serves to signal his unswerving fidelity to Gluck, a lifelong spiritual father, his worship of Beethoven, the main god of the new journal, notwithstanding. This first segment of the piece (it concludes in the Companion Website) features, notably, the lyrical description of an aria from one of Gluck’s early Italian-language operas and the admiring mention, despite his anti-Italian bias, of the Italian diva Mme. Pasta. Based on faulty sources, the piece bears reading not for historical specifics but for Berlioz’s image of Gluck as a man of immense talent and strong character, the latter illustrated by an incident during a performance before the Viennese court, when Gluck defied protocol to insist on repeating a ballet.

Keywords:   Gluck Italian operas, Gluck as operatic reformer, Calzabigi, Gluck Telemaco, Pasta, Metastasio, Gluck and Handel

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