Gluck - Armide (320kbps mp3)

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Gluck - Armide (320kbps .mp3)

Verity Sharp presents a performance of Gluck's Armide recorded at the State Opera, Vienna

The tale of Armide has been set by many composers but today's Opera Matinée features a performance of Gluck's operatic tragedy. The tale is based on part of Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, and sees the Syrian princess Armide ensnaring her enemy Renaud with her magic spells. As Armide is about to kill Renaud, she realises she has fallen in love with him, and tries to cast a spell so he loves her in return. This sets up an epic struggle between her and her feelings and the spirits she has asked to help destroy Renaud.

Gluck's setting includes some stunning melodies, made famous in the Metropolitan Opera's revival of the work in the 1910 with a cast that then included Enrico Caruso. This afternoon, soprano Gaëlle Arquez and tenor Stanislas de Barbeyrac take the lead roles in a performance recorded last autumn at the State Opera, Vienna with Les Musiciens du Louvre and Gustav Mahler Chorus, Vienna conducted by Marc Minkowski.

Armide ..... Gaëlle Arquez (soprano)
Renaud ..... Stanislas de Barbeyrac (tenor)
Phénice ..... Olga Bezsmertna (soprano)
Sidonie ..... Hila Fahima (soprano)
Hidraot ..... Paolo Rumetz (baritone)
Hatred ..... Stephanie Houtzeel (contralto)
The Danish Knight / Artémidore ..... Bror Magnus Tødenes, (tenor)
Ubalde ..... Gabriel Bermúdez (baritone)
Aronte ..... Mihail Dogotari (baritone)

Gustav Mahler Chorus, Vienna
Les Musiciens du Louvre
Marc Minkowski, conductor

With [email protected] .mp3 and a selection on images from the production
Broadcast: January 2017, BBC Radio 3


Armide is being used by the Muslims for military purposes in the First Crusade against the Christian knights. Their plan is for Armide’s magical beauty to beguile the enemy’s soldiers and facilitate their capture. Armide does in fact succeed in rendering a large number of knights harmless in this manner. Only the valiant knight Renaud remains indifferent to the spell of love. Deeply offended and filled with hatred, Armide still hopes to overcome Renaud one day When her captain Aronte rushes in and reports that Renaud has freed all the captured Christian knights, Armide, the Syrian King Hidraot and the people swear vengeance.


Artémidore, who has been freed by Renaud, warns his knights about Armide’s magic powers. However, Renaud does not see any danger for himself and sends Artémidore back to the crusaders’ camp. Hidraot and Armide summon Hate and his demons to help them against Renaud, yet Armide wants to deal the deathblow to Renaud personally. Renaud approaches and is deceived by the illusion of magical surroundings. When he falls asleep, Armide emerges from hiding to murder him. However, the sight of him causes Armide to fall in love with him. Armide decides to take Renaud as a lover.


Armide cannot understand the inner transformation and begs Hate to restore the earlier aversion to Renaud. Hate approaches and tries to extinguish the love in Armide’s heart, but Armide finally realizes that a life without love is no longer desirable. Armide orders Hate to stop. Hate thereupon departs, making threats and sombre predictions. Armide now implores love for help


The Danish knight and Ubalde have headed out to rescue their companion Renaud from Armide’s clutches. Both of them are tempted by demons. One demon appears in the form of Lucinde, the Danish Knight’s lover, and the other in the form of Mélisse, Ubalde’s lover. However, the two knights protect each other from these dangerous illusions


Armide and Renaud have become lovers. However, when Armide visits the underworld for a short while, leaving Renaud behind, Ubalde and the Danish Knight are able to reach Renaud and break the spell. Renaud is prepared to go into battle again against the Muslims. Returning from the underworld, Armide invokes their mutual love in vain. Renaud joins the other knights and leaves Armide. In a helpless fury, Armide swears revenge.

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Gluck - Armide (320kbps mp3)