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Conductor Giuseppe Sigismondi de Risio came across the handwritten copy of this Gluckian obscurity in a library, eventually leading to this world premiere recording. It’s obviously a labour of love, and de Risio and the Armonia Atenea whip up quite a musical storm. The scoring is inventive, and Gluck’s playing with the form of some of the arias points towards his later ‘reform’ operas. Set to a text by Metastasio, Clelia consists of 22 numbers, and after its initial run in 1763 sank without trace. Over three CDs, it’s quite a long work, and despite the sincerity and standard of performance I did find my attention wandering. Hélène Le Corre is an affecting soprano Clelia, and Mary-Ellen Nesi and Irini Karaianni both have fluid mezzos as Orazio and Tarquinio. Vassilis Kavayas trips skilfully through the challenging roulades of Porsenna. All very accomplished, but for the Gluck completist.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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