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Penguin Guide, January 2009

This is the first recording of the Vinna version of Alceste, rather simpler and more direct in manner than the far-better-known French version of 1776. Here, Alceste’s powerful aria Divinités du Styx becomes Ombre, larve, less imposing, and the intimate scale of the Drottningholm presentation reflects that, with a cast of young singers remarkable for their freshness rather than for their power.

The self-sacrificing heroine is more girlish, more vulnerable, as portrayed by the American Teresa Ringholz, who is clear and true in every register, if a little lacking in variety. Her sweetness and purity are matched by the young Swedish soprano Miriam Treichl, in the role of Ismene, Alceste’s confidante—a most promising singer, even if it is at times confusing to have such similar singers juxtaposed. The clear-toned British tenor Justin Lavender sings stylishly in the relatively small role of Admeto, husband of Alceste, with Jonas Degerfeldt, aptly lighter and more youthful, as his confidant, Evandro. At the Naxos price one can hardly complain that the opera is laid out rather extravagantly on three discs, when in any case that brings the advantage of one disc per Act. Well-balanced sound, with voices well to the fore. Full libretto, synopsis and translations are provided.

Martin Buzacott
ABC Radio 24 Hours, February 2000

"Gluck's Alceste, composed in 1767, has tended to be overshadowed by his masterly Orfeo ed Euridice, but it's always had its admirers. It's bound to win many more now, with this wonderful, spirited new recording conducted by Arnold Õstman recorded in the Drottningholms Stottstheater in Sweden...I can't recall a recording of a pre-1780 opera that I've enjoyed more...You can almost hear the evolution of the Baroque turning into the Classical in this musical tour-de-force."

Classic FM, January 2000

Pick of 1999

James Camner
Fanfare, November 1999

Naxos’s superb recording of Gluck’s Italian Alceste, one of the seminal operas of all time, is probably the best we will ever have—a great achievement by all, especially the conductor, Arnold Östman, and the soprano, Teresa Ringholz. © 1999 Fanfare Read complete review on Fanfare

The Age, October 1999

"This performance is lovingly prepared and conducted by...Arnold Ostman...The American soprano Teresa Ringholz is a doughty Alceste, lyrical and firm; and the English tenor Justin Lavender is heroic as her husband, Admeto, whom she rescues from death by offering herself in exchange. The rest of the cast, and the splendid chorus and orchestra show benefit of long rehearsal and a series of performances."

Alan Blyth
Opera, September 1999

"The recording, which is post-theatre rather than live, is keenly balanced between voices and instruments. At super-budget price this is an invaluable addition to the still-slim Gluck discography."

Alan Blyth
The Daily Telegraph (Australia), August 1999

"... it is excellent that this three-disc set is of the Italian original. This is a convincing performance... Under the period-instrument specialist Arnold Ötman, it proves a worthwhile and moving experience."

"[Teresa Ringholz] enters into the mind and soul of Alceste and conveys the passionate resolution of her aims. Her expression of grief is all the more convincing for being so contained."

Hugh Canning
, July 1999

"Until now, the 1767 [original version in Italian] Alceste has only been available in a Decca set... it is comprehensively superseded by this new issue from Naxos."

"Theresa Ringholz, wonderfully intelligent potrait of the heroine make this an essential addition to any opera collection."

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