In 1774 Gluck had committed himself to supplying six stage works to the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris. This job he fulfilled partially by reworking works which had already been premiered in Vienna, such as “Orfeo ed Euridice” (BA 5845-90).
In the case of “Alceste” which was premiered in 1776 and which was the prototype of the so-called reform opera, the composer created a completely new version. The libretto was translated from the former Italian into French and was altered at the same time, but also the music was fundamentally changed: Gluck newly composed the recitatives and rearranged, enlarged or cut scenes. The initial rejection of the work by the audience caused him to further alter the third act, for example by adding the character of Hercules as Alceste’s saviour. In this form the opera finally became a big success.
The Bärenreiter vocal score has been carefully revised, corrected, newly engraved and brought up to Bärenreiter standards.
• Revised and newly engraved Urtext edition based on the Gluck Complete Edition
• French libretto with singable German translation
• Preface (Ger/Eng/Fr)
• Idiomatic, uncluttered piano reduction