The finale to Orfeo ed Euridice is a chaconne, a dance form built on a short bass phrase and often used by 17th and 18th century opera composers to achieve a festive mood at the end. The choreography was first performed at the Hamburgische Staatsoper in their 1963 production of Orpheus und Eurydike and somewhat altered in Chaconne, especially that for the principal dancers. Balanchine added the pas de deux for Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins to the 1976 ballet and the opening ensemble (to the 1774 Dance of the Blessed Spirits) for the Spring season.
In 1773 Gluck wrote, "Always as simple and natural as I can make it, my music strives toward the utmost expressiveness and seeks to reinforce the meaning of the underlying poetry. It is for this reason that I do not use those trills, coloraturas, and cadences that Italians employ so abundantly."