Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (In French) - Gedda, Pilou, Eda-Pierre; Rosenthal. Roma, 1975
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Gluck's Orpheus is a unique role within the operatic cannon in as much it has been championed by great mezzo-sopranos, counter-tenors, baritones and tenors (I can't think of an instance in which a soprano assumed the title role, but Maria Callas did record one of the finest renditions of "J'ai perdu mon Eurydice" I have ever come across.) This permutation finds a tenor in the lead role. And what a tenor at that! Nicolai Gedda is unflinching in face of the impressive tessitura of this role (the tenor being more or less compelled to sing in the same range as a mezzo.) The result is an Orphée that is more heroic in nature and whose ultimate despair seems all the more heightened. Gedda is well supported by Jeanette Pilou as Eurydice and Christiane Eda-Pierre. The one detriment (depending on your point of view) to this recording may be the overly romantic approach of Manuel Rosenthal, although he does get a very nice sound out of the Rai di Roma Orchestra. The sound is excellent.