O, del mio dolce ardor (Gluck)

Tchaikovsky Research
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The aria O, del mio dolce ardor from the opera Paride ed Elena by Christoph Willibald Gluck was arranged for orchestra by Tchaikovsky in October 1870 (TH 178 ; ČW 409).

For many years the authorship of the original aria was wrongly attributed to Alessandro Stradella (1639–1682), but recent scholarship has established that Gluck was the true composer [1].


Scored for solo voice and an orchestra comprised of flute, oboe, clarinet (in B-flat), bassoon + 2 horns (in F) + violins I, violins II, violas, cellos, and double basses.

Movements and Duration

There is one movement: Lento e maestoso (D minor, 47 bars), lasting around 3 minutes in performance.


The Italian libretto was written by Ranieri de' Calzabigi (1714–1795).


The orchestration of the aria was made by Tchaikovsky, evidently, at the request of Nikolay Rubinstein, for a symphony concert of the Russian Musical Society in which it was to be played. The manuscript is dated 29 October/10 November 1870.


Tchaikovsky's arrangement was performed on 6/18 November 1870 in Moscow, at the second RMS symphony concert, conducted by Nikolay Rubinstein.


The arrangement was published for the first time in 1970 in volume 59 of Tchaikovsky's Complete Collected Works, edited by Irina Iordan.


Tchaikovsky's manuscript score is now preserved in the Russian National Museum of Music in Moscow (ф. 88, No. 160) [view].

Related Works

"O del mio dolce" (also known as "O salutaris") comes from Paride's Aria in Act I (No. 1) of the opera Paride ed Elena (Paris and Helen) by Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714–1787), which was premiered in Vienna in 1770.

Notes and References

  1. See Alessandro Stradella (1639–1682): A thematic catalogue of his compositions (Stuyvesant, New York Pendragon Press, 1991), p. 267; also Aleksandr Komarov, Die Arie O del mio dolce ardor aus Glucks Oper Paride ed Elena. Zum Kontext von Čajkovskijs Instrumentierung (2012).