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The Orpheus myth

A sequence of music inspired by the Orpheus myth. Offenbach and Gluck bookend music by Luiz Bonfa, Johann Johannsson, David Sylvian, Beethoven, Schubert and Monteverdi.

Music inspired by the Orpheus myth. We start with the Can-Can from Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld. Carnival Morning by the Brazilian composer Luiz Bonfa, the theme from the film Black Orpheus leads to Johann Johannsson's Orphic Hymn from his album Orphee. We hear part of David Sylvian's Orpheus from his album Secrets of the Beehive. Next, the second movement of Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 4, which has been seen as a description of Orpheus taming the Furies. We end with two songs, Schubert's Lied des Orpheus D474 and Gluck's Che faro senza Euridice from his opera Orfeo ed Euridice. These are separated by a Toccata from Monteverdi's Orfeo.

30 minutes

Music Played

  • Jacques Offenbach

    Can-Can (Orpheus in the Underworld)

    Conductor: Erich Kunzel. Orchestra: Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.
    • William Tell and other favourites: Cincinnati Pops Orchestra/Kunzel.
    • Telarc.
  • Luiz Bonfá

    Manha de Carnaval [Morning of Carnival]

    Performer: Andreas Ottensamer. Performer: Daniel Ottensamer. Performer: Ernst Ottensamer. Performer: František Jánoška.
    • DG.
  • Jóhann Jóhannsson

    Orphic Hymn

    Ensemble: Theatre of Voices. Conductor: Paul Hillier.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
  • David Sylvian

    Orpheus

    Singer: David Sylvian.
    • Virgin.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Concerto No 4 in G major, Op 58 (2nd mvt)

    Performer: Emil Grigoryevich Gilels. Performer: David Oistrakh. Performer: Sviatoslav Knushevistsky. Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: Leopold Ludwig.
    • Beethoven The Collector's Edition 50 CDs The Masterpieces The Greatest Artists.
    • EMI Classics.
    • 2.
  • Franz Schubert

    Lied des Orpheus D474

    Performer: Graham Johnson. Singer: Brigitte Fassbaender.
    • HYPERION.
  • Claudio Monteverdi

    L'Orfeo (Toccata)

    Ensemble: Concerto Italiano. Conductor: Rinaldo Alessandrini.
    • Naive.
  • Christoph Willibald Gluck

    Orfeo ed Euridice; Che faro senza Euridice

    Singer: Philippe Jaroussky. Ensemble: I Barocchisti. Director: Diego Fasolis.
    • Erato.

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