Music: New Records, Jul. 1, 1957

At first, on the 18th century's musical scene, Christoph Willibald Gluck seemed just another run-of-the-court opera composer. The threadbare romantic plots he used served mainly to give virtuoso singers something on which to string their purple-beaded arias. But Gluck became known as a daring revolutionary in 1762 when he wrote Orfeo ed Euridice, a work free of such "disfiguring abuses" as stock romantic situations and metaphorical arias. For years, he preached the virtues of Greek naturalism. After Gluck's death, better composers than he utilized some of his reforms, while Orfeo all but disappeared...

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