Gluck and the Theater of Recognition
This chapter analyzes Gluck's opera Iphigénie en Tauride (1779). The discussion includes one of the signal moments in the opera, where Iphigénie comes into view just as Oreste utters the horrific words that awaken him from his dream. The awakening is captured in an extreme diminished seventh, echoed in Iphigénie's chilling response to what she has witnessed. The music captures that disquieting moment at which one awakens from a dream, that instant in which the dream image is at once transfigured into the waking present. It is at this cathartic moment that Iphigénie and Oreste set eyes on each other for the first time in the opera. The process of recognition begins here, intuitively and through the recesses of the subconscious.
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