- 30 Gen 2015
Annette Dasch – “Venez, venez, haine implacable” Aria of Armide – “Armide” (1777) – Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714 – 1787).
” ‘Armide’ is an opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck, set to a libretto by Philippe Quinault. Gluck’s fifth production for the Parisian stage and the composer’s own favourite among his works, it was first performed on 23 September 1777 by the Académie Royale de Musique in the second Salle du Palais-Royal in Paris.
Gluck set the same libretto Philippe Quinault had written for Lully in 1686, based on Torquato Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered). Gluck seemed at ease in facing French traditions head-on when he composed Armide. Lully and Quinault were the very founders of serious opera in France and ‘Armide’ was generally recognized as their masterpiece, so it was a bold move on Gluck’s part to write new music to Quinault’s words.
By utilizing ‘Armide,’ Gluck challenged the long-standing and apparently inviolable ideals of French practice, and in the process he revealed these values capable of renewal through “modern” compositional sensitivities. Critical response and resultant polemic resulted in one of those grand imbroglios common to French intellectual life. Gluck struck a nerve in French sensitivities, and whereas ‘Armide’ was not one of his more popular works, it remained a critical touchstone in the French operatic tradition and was warmly praised by Berlioz in his ‘Memoirs.’ ”