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Gluck, Christoph Willibald
Christoph Willibald Gluck
July 2, 1714 – November 15, 1787

Christoph Willibald Gluck had an immense influence on opera during his time. He had a peculiar start to his career, as his father actively discouraged his musical studies. At 18, Gluck left home and studied violin and cello and Prague. He then traveled throughout Europe learning and conducting before finally becoming an opera conductor in Vienna.

It was Gluck’s piece Orfeo ed Euridice which changed the future of opera. His new style brought him immediate international fame. This allowed Gluck to continue composing in luxury in Vienna for the rest of his life.

The significance of Gluck’s operas were that they were composed in a simplified style which avoided the ostentatious solos and uneven flow which was typical of operas at that time. Instead, Gluck’s work intertwined story, drama, and music smoothly. While Gluck’s pieces did not feature exceptional technical skill, they were praised for their simple, quick, and emotionally potent style.

Notable works:
Orfeo ed Euridice
Alceste
Armide

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