Orfeo ed Euridice was the starting point of Gluck's lyrical and dramatic turnover. Ending the singers' supremacy, Gluck then focused on the continuity between the drama and the orchestra. The "Dance of the furies" depicts the first scene where Orpheus finally manages to soothe Hell's inhabitants. Its strong rhythm contrasts with "The Ballet of joyous Shadows" that opens the next scene.
Beethoven composed his Seventh Symphony in 1811-1812 when he was hoping to obtain an official position and a grand orchestra. This explains the imposing orchestral presence and low key sonorities. This piece relies upon its specific rhythm to balance its four movements. It could be compared to a dramatic plot starting with a slow introduction followed by both intense and contemplative moments and concluded with an dramatic collective exultation. The Allegretto was so successful that during its first performance in 1813, it was played again as an encore!
© Verbier Festival
Verbier Festival 2010