Ballet Suite No. 1
(Christoph Willibald von Gluck
(arr. Felix Mottl))
July 2, 1714, in Erasbach; died November 15, 1787, in Vienna)
The Ballet Suite No. 1
includes selections from three of Gluck's greatest operas. It begins
with an Air Gai and Lento from Iphigenia in Aulis.
Familiar Orpheus music, taken from Gluck’s most frequently performed and
famous opera Orfeo ed Euridice, follows the initial movement. This
well-known music is arranged in a three-part form in which the graceful
Dance of the Blessed Spirits, coupled with the eternally beautiful
interlude for solo flute, one of the most poignant and memorable of all of
Gluck’s melodies, becomes the centerpiece of the suite. The suite
concludes with two excerpts from the opera, Armide, a Musette
and a Sicilienne.
A brilliant late nineteenth
century Austrian conductor and composer who occupied an important place in
German opera production for many years, Felix Mottl created this suite.
Internationally acclaimed, Mottl was Wagner's assistant at Bayreuth, and
he also conducted at the New York Metropolitan Opera. Now, music lovers do
not find his name except for here, in the creation of this present
arrangement of Gluck’s music. His version of Gluck’s ballet music is
faithful to the music's values and quite untouched by the enthusiasm for
largeness that has dominated so many arrangements of earlier music for