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William R. Braun
Opera News, July 2013

The choral forces of the Netherlands Opera…operate on an extremely high level. They truly sing as one voice, reminding us of the original idea of the Greek chorus.

The solo singing is very fine as well, particularly on Aulide. Anne Sofie von Otter’s Clytemnestre is a supreme example of secure vocal technique inextricably allied to theatricality. The voice is all of a piece, and the characterization is complete. Her Agamemnon, Nicolas Testé, matches her. Gens gives a canny performance…Frédéric Antoun’s Achille is directly, beautifully sung. © 2013 Opera News Read complete review

John Sheppard
MusicWeb International, June 2013

Both operas demand performances with total commitment and understanding of the musical style and with great care taken over the appropriate declamation of the text. They get it here with outstanding performances especially from both Iphigenias, from Anne Sofie van Otter as Clytemnestra and from Jean-Francois Lapointe as Orestes, but all of the singers are completely at one with their parts. There are no vocal weak links, and even if there were that would be made up for by the playing of Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble under Marc Minkowski. They realise the subtlety and variety in Gluck’s scoring with admirable care and respond at all times to the dramatic situation. The costumes belong to no specific date but suffice to delineate the nature and position of the characters. In the past I have been unenthusiastic about and even hostile to Pierre Audi’s productions which have seemed to have little to do with the operas concerned. For the most part that is not the case here. On the contrary the productions illuminate the nature of the conflicts and dramatic situations, allowing the singers to use the text to intensify them even more.

Overall this set manages the very difficult feat of successfully meeting Gluck’s musical and dramatic demands and avoiding any dullness, sensationalism or musical coarseness. As a result both operas emerge as the towering masterworks they are, fully equal to stand with those of Berlioz and Wagner for which they were the partial inspiration. MusicWeb International Read complete review

Richard Lawrence
Gramophone, May 2013

GLUCK, C.W.: Iphigenie en Aulide / Iphigenie en Tauride (DNO, 2011) (NTSC) OA1099D
GLUCK, C.W.: Iphigenie en Aulide / Iphigenie en Tauride (DNO, 2011) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7115D

Whether begging Achilles for help or calling down Jupiter’s thunderbolts, [Anne Sofie von Otter] presents a deeply sympathetic character. …Véronique Gens, whose Iphigenia is equally touching and just as beautifully sung. Her joyous duet of reconciliation with the forthright Achilles of Frédéric Antoun transcends the foursquare writing. Agamemnon, caught between love of his daughter and duty towards the gods, is powerfully sung and acted by Nicolas Testé.

Delunsch is as affecting as Gens: poised in Iphigenia’s gentle airs but with plenty of heft for the opening storm. Minkowski conducts superbly. © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Henson Keys
Parterre Box, April 2013

Both productions feature fine singing, cogent and interesting stage direction, and brilliant conducting; both use period instruments and period pitch, much to the singers’ advantage. The performances on these DVDs are splendid and Gluck’s use of mythological stories to reflect deeply human emotion is brilliantly served.

Conductor Marc Minkowski seems to have Gluck’s music in his bones—in both operas, he leads Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble in a seamless and sensitive reading, creating subtle emotional landscapes combined with a grace and stateliness.

Gluck occasionally suffers the bad rap of being boring or turgid. These performances will disabuse any of that notion. The full-blooded drama offered in these performances is a major change from the excesses of the baroque operas that came before. Gluck’s musical and dramatic advances are very well served by these excellent productions and in particular by Minkowski’s masterful conducting. © 2013 Parterre Box Read complete review

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