Trove Thursday began on September 10, 2015 with Berlioz’s Les Troyens. In tribute to that first podcast, we return to the Trojan War to celebrate TT’s sixth birthday by presenting a masterpiece originally slated by the Met for revival later this month: Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride in three stirring broadcasts starring Rita Gorr, Gré Brouwenstijn and Sena Jurinac conducted by Georg Solti, Alberto Erede and John Eliot Gardiner, respectively.

The principal casualty of the Met’s reopening has been the cancellation of Stephen Wadsworth’s production of Iphigénie which was to have been conducted by Nathalie Stutzmann in her company debut with Kate Lindsey in the title role.

On the other hand, next Tuesday the Paris Opéra will be presenting Gluck’s opera postponed from last season albeit with an Iphigénie and Oreste it had to fly in after rehearsals had begun. The Paris production was originally rumored to star Joyce DiDonato who wisely I beliveve thought better of taking on the role; I suspect she was also the original impetus behind the Met’s planned revival.

On occasion I’ve posted two versions of Trove Thursday’s opera of the week but this is the first time I’ve included three as I couldn’t resist offering Gorr and Brouwenstijn and Jurinac. A performance I wished had been recorded by some enterprising pirate is the American Opera Society’s 1962 Iphigénie at Carnegie Hall with Marilyn Horne (substituting for Gorr), Léopold Simoneau and Gabriel Bacquier in his US debut.

Robert Massard, who last month turned 96, was clearly the go-to Oreste of the 60s and 70s as he’s brother to both Gorr and Jurinac as well as to Régine Crespin in her Teatro Colon Iphigénie which has been issued on a cheap 2-CD set.

Unlike the two Massard versions, the Dutch Iphigenie presents the edition Gluck prepared for Vienna (in German) two years after the Paris premiere and uses a tenor instead of a baritone for Orestes. The Met utilized this version (translated back into French) for the Wadsworth production with Susan Graham presumably to accommodate Placido Domingo’s awkward assumption of the role.

Twenty-first century listeners may find the conducting of the Gorr and Brouwenstijn broadcasts a bit old-fashioned—slow and stodgy at times. However, Jurinac, who had earlier performed her role in German for Bavarian Radio opposite Fritz Wunderlich and Hermann Prey, benefits from the more dynamic leadership of period-performance advocate Gardiner, who was just 30 years old at the time.

I’m particularly fond of the lesser-known Iphigénie en Aulide, Gluck’s prequel to Iphigénie en Tauride, which can be found on a Trove Thursday installment from earlier this year.

When La Cieca asked me to curate Trove Thursday I had no inkling that the series would still be running on parterre box six years later. Since its Berlioz beginning, hundreds of operas, oratorios, song cycles and other vocal works have been posted here. I’ve amassed a stockpile of live recordings earmarked for TT that now could keep this weekly feature going for a couple more years, but for the moment I’ll just say that it will continue for the near future. Installment #300 arrives next month!

The archive that lists all Trove Thursday offerings in alphabetical order by composer has just been completely updated.

Gluck: Iphigénie en Tauride

Royal Opera at the Edinburgh Festival
23 August 1961

Iphigénie: Rita Gorr
Diane: Margreta Elkins
Deux Prêtresses: Jennifer Eddy & Janet Coster
Une Grecque: Jeanette Sinclair
Oreste: Robert Massard
Pylade: André Turp
Thoas: Louis Quilico

Conductor: Georg Solti

Gluck: Iphigenie auf Tauris (1781 Vienna version in German)

Holland Festival, Amsterdam
20 June 1964

Iphigenie: Gré Brouwenstijn
Diane: Sophia van Sante
Zwei Priesterinnen: Nelly Morpurgo & Marijke Franssen
Orestes: Vilém Pribyl
Pylades: Robert Ilosfalvy
Thoas: Jules Bastin

Conductor: Alberto Erede

Gluck: Iphigénie en Tauride

Covent Garden
17 November 1973

Iphigénie: Sena Jurinac
Diane: Gillian Knight
Une Prêtresse: Susan Lees
Oreste: Robert Massard
Pylade: Jean Bonhomme
Thoas: Robert Bickerstaff
Un scythe: Thomas Allen

Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner

Each version of Iphigénie en Tauride can be downloaded by clicking on the icon of a square with an arrow pointing downward on the audio player above and the resulting mp3 file will appear in your download directory

In addition, more than 400 other podcast tracks are always available from Apple Podcasts for free or via any RSS reader.