Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Ritter von
- Bruce Alan Brown
- and Julian Rushton
(b Erasbach, Upper Palatinate, July 2, 1714; d Vienna, Nov 15, 1787). Bohemian composer. He was long in Habsburg service in Vienna. More successfully than any of his contemporaries, he translated the widespread agitation for reform of opera and theatrical dance on the part of European intellectuals into actual works for the stage, first in pantomime ballets and Italian serious operas for Vienna and then in operas of various sorts for Paris. His long experience in setting Metastasian drammi per musica and his work in Vienna as music director of the Burgtheater (court theatre) were not without utility in these more innovative efforts.
Bruce Alan Brown
Gluck's earliest traceable ancestor is his great-grandfather, ‘Simon Gluckh von Rockenzahn’; (i.e. from Rokycany), as he is called in the marriage-contract (1672) of his son, Johann (or Hans) Adam (bc1649; d 1722). The surname Gluck (variously spelt Gluckh, Klugh, Kluch, etc.) probably derives from the Czech word ...