Christoph Willibald Gluck Quotes
Christoph Willibald Gluck was a composer of Italian and French opera in the classical period. Gluck was popular and widely credited with bringing about a revolution in French opera. His musical legacy includes approximately 35 complete full-length operas plus around a dozen shorter operas as well as numerous ballets and instrumental works.
“The drama should delight the eyes and ears, to rouse up and to affect the hearts of an audience, without the risk of sinning against reason or common sense.”-Francesco Algarotti – who was a large inspiration for Orfeo ed Euridice.
“If Mr. Gluck was the creator of dramatic music, he did not create it from nothing. I provided him with the material or the chaos if you like. We, therefore, share the honor of that creation.”-Ranieri de’ Calzabigi, Gluck’s librettist
“I have therefore been very careful never to interrupt a singer in the heat of a dialogue, in order to introduce a tedious ritornelle, nor to stop him in the middle of a piece either for the purpose of displaying the flexibility of his voice on some favorable time to take a breath before a long sustained note.”-Christoph Willibald Gluck
“Furthermore, I have not thought it right to hurry through the second part of a song if the words happened to be the most important of the whole in order to repeat the first part regularly four times over; or to finish the air where the sense does not end in order to allow the singer to exhibit his power of varying the passage at pleasure. In fact, my object was to put an end to abuses against which good taste and good sense have long protested in vain.”-Christoph Willibald Gluck
“My idea was that the overture ought to indicate the subject and preparer the spectators for the character of the piece they are about to see; that the instruments out to be introduced in proportion to the degree of interest and passion in the words; and that it was necessary above all to avoid making too great a disparity between the recitative and the air of dialogue, so as not to break the sense of a period or awkwardly interrupt the movement and animation of a scene.”-Christoph Willibald Gluck
“I also thought that my chief endeavor should be to attain a grand simplicity, and consequently I have avoided making a parade of difficulties at the cost of clearness; I have set no value on novelty as such unless it was naturally suggested by the situation and suited to the expression; in short, there was no rule which I did not consider myself bound to sacrifice for the sake of effect.”-Christoph Willibald Gluck