The task of the project is to publish the complete works of Christoph Willibald Gluck in a scholarly-critical and at the same time musical-practical edition, which is divided into 7 sections. While the great »reform operas« have all been published in the meantime, work is currently being done on the edition of the operas of Gluck's early and middle creative period.
As a rule, these works are only available in contemporary handwritten copies; autographs have usually not survived. Since they have never been published and no printed music material is available, the corresponding works have also been missing from the stage repertoire until now. In addition to the actual editing work, which is carried out by both internal and external volume editors, the focus is on worldwide source research. Many new discoveries have already been made in the course of the work for the edition, including, for example, numerous ballets whose authenticity or attribution to Gluck has yet to be investigated.
For several years now, the Mainz office of the Gluck-Gesamtausgabe (Gluck Complete Edition) has been developing a source database with the aim of recording and briefly describing the content of all ascertainable sources on Gluck's œuvre, including manuscripts, libretti and early prints. At present, the Gluck-Gesamtausgabe has information on approximately 2000 handwritten and 870 printed musical sources as well as 540 printed librettos. The identification of other types of sources - such as letters and documents etc. - has not yet been systematically pursued. The information on musical sources and libretti forms the basis for editorial preliminary decisions when publishing works. In addition to work on completing the database, further efforts are directed towards acquiring and archiving microfilms and xerox copies of the sources that are relevant for the still outstanding editions of works.