Monday, December 8, 2014

De Profundis (C.W.Gluck)

    Christoph Willibald Gluck was one of the most influential composers of his time in the mid 18th century; he had an enormous impact on Salieri (whose Requiem Mass we've been sampling for the last couple weeks), Mozart, and many others. Perhaps no composer of his time had a greater influence on the development of the operatic genre. While his music is performed somewhat more often today than that of his protege Salieri, he is no longer one of the better-known composers.
     While Gluck's primary area was opera, he also composed musical settings for a few Psalms, few of which have survived. One that has come down to us is this hauntingly beautiful setting for Psalm 130 (linked below), a performance of which Salieri conducted at his old friend and mentor's funeral in 1788.