In 1774 Gluck undertook to deliver six stage works for the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris. He fulfilled this commission partly with reworkings of works premiered earlier in Vienna, such as “Orfeo ed Euridice”.
In the case of “Alceste” which was premiered in 1776 and was the prototype of the “reform opera”, he wrote a completely new version: the libretto was translated from Italian into French and changed at the same time. The music was also fundamentally reworked; for example, Gluck newly composed the recitatives and either expanded, cut or changed some scenes around.
The public’s rejection of the work caused the composer to finally rework the third act again, including the introduction of Hercules as Alceste’s rescuer. Bärenreiter is now publishing the meticulously revised and corrected vocal score, newly-engraved and brought up to current Bärenreiter standards.
- Revised Urtext edition based on the “Gluck Complete Works”
- French libretto with singable German translation
- Foreword (Ger/Fr/Eng)
- Idiomatic piano reduction