Music: Alcestis' Return

Of the six composers whose names adorn the proscenium arch of the Metropolitan Opera, Christoph Willibald Gluck is the oldest (1714-87), the least honored, the least sung.* Four of his 42 operas have been performed at the Met, but only at very rare intervals. Last week Gluck's Alcestis got a performance that restored some of the proper shine to his name.

In scheduling the first performance of Alcestis in eleven years, General Manager Rudolf Bing had two ideas: !) he wanted to hear Gluck's somberly magnificent music again and 2) he cannily thought that...

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