Author Topic: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach  (Read 14142 times)

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Offline False_Dmitry

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2010, 05:34:09 AM »
Let's remmber that not all of Offenbach's music for the stage is light-hearted froth :)

THE RHINEMAIDEN (1864) is a full-scale serious piece, although it didn't enjoy a favourable reception.  Throughout his life he wrote, rewrote, reworked and rewrote again the extraordinary plunge into dystopian madness that is THE TALES OF HOFFMANN.  He takes his own lighthearted style to deliver a sequence of terriyfing nightmares that were so far in advance of their time he never dared to stage the piece.  "The Usual Suspects" contrive to wreck the life of an author,  including a bait-and-switch game in which he falls in love with a robot,  and watching his girlfriend die on an Infection Ward when she's taunted to death.  Stange and appalling events indeed.

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Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2010, 05:39:27 AM »
Hoffman is a bit more complicated....My favorite to date is the version with Domingo and Sutherland conducted by Bonynge (on Decca).

Thanks, Neal. I'll probably get the Bonynge/Sutherland version even though textually Cambreling and Tate might be closer to what Offenbach had in mind.

Sarge
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Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
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Offline mjwal

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2010, 05:28:17 AM »
I only have two historical recordings of Les Contes d'Hoffmann, with Peter Anders etc in German from the 40s and from '37 the Met production with Bovy, Maison, Tibbett etc. The latter is noteworthy for the grand opéra style and Tibbett totally OTT as the villains. I have seen LCH several times in productions using the old version with recitatives and "scintille diamant", and in others with the full panoply of modern musicology on musical display. It is such a magical opera that I prefer to see it in an opera house - but if anybody can make a definitive DVD recommendation I shall be delighted (I have one VHS I taped with the action taking place in a loony bin etc - and found it distinctly unmagical: N'est pas Marat/Sade qui veut...) It is very much worth seeing the old Michael Powell film with the soundtrack conducted by Beecham, which manages to catch something authentically Hoffmanesque. However, the true Offenbach is in his satirical operettas, and there I would point first of all to a few recordings that reflect something of the old style of presenting French operetta. Two are conducted with fougue and esprit by René Leibowitz : Orphée aux enfers and La belle Hélène. Irreplaceable. Then there is/was a 1 CD reduction of La vie Parisienne performed by the compagnie Renaud-Barrault, which might say something to lovers of Les Enfants du Paradis (which itself has something Offenbachian about it). I am suspicious or recordings with major stars and grand opera orchestras, but Lombard's La Périchole has a lot going for it, joie de vivre à la française, Régine Crespin (her voice a tad too matronly?) and Alain Vanzo. And talking of individual airs from the different operas: every collection must have Björling's "Au mont Ida", Reynaldo Hahn's self-accompanied "Que voulez-vous", Yvonne Printemps' "Dites-lui" and preeminently (AFAIAC) Maggie Teyte singing "Je t'adore, brigand", one of the most nostalgically affecting vocal recordings of all time (there are more historicals in the Record of Singing 3 and elsewhere). Frederica von Stade recorded a couple of numbers very idiomatically at the beginning of her career, and you can compare her with Crespin and Printemps.
I don't know the Cello Concerto and other concert works at all, and shall endeavour to catch up.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 05:30:33 AM by mjwal »
The Violin's Obstinacy

It needs to return to this one note,
not a tune and not a key
but the sound of self it must depart from,
a journey lengthily to go
in a vein it knows will cripple it.
...
Peter Porter

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2011, 04:43:14 PM »
He's brilliant - a superb craftsman and despite the large amount of operas he wrote, every one I have heard so far (perhaps over half a dozen) has been endlessly tunefull and witty. This is one of my favourite DVDs of any opera, full-stop:



So pif, paf, poof, tarapapa poom...

Just poking my head in here. Offenbach is not really my thing, but I saw this at the Chatelet in Paris in 2004, and it was a thorough delight. Didn't know the DVD was available; I might just pick this one up.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2011, 07:40:36 PM »
I heard Offenbach one time and decided from that moment forward that I didn't need to listen to anymore Offenbach.
“It is enough when a single note is beautifully played.” - Arvo Pärt

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2011, 10:01:14 PM »
I heard Offenbach one time and decided from that moment forward that I didn't need to listen to anymore Offenbach.
Your loss. You'll find no better tune smith in all of classical music.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2011, 12:24:22 PM »
Your loss. You'll find no better tune smith in all of classical music.

I need more than tunes to keep my interest in the music. Harmony, rhythm, and structure are just as important.
“It is enough when a single note is beautifully played.” - Arvo Pärt

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2011, 08:23:22 PM »
I need more than tunes to keep my interest in the music. Harmony, rhythm, and structure are just as important.
Then Offenbach is just the man - as he has those in spades too.
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2011, 08:24:45 PM »
Offenbach is a delightful composer.  This disc, I think, nicely captures his charm and wit by a good conductor and band:


A very good disc indeed.
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cilgwyn

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2012, 03:16:46 AM »
I remember buying the original emi Lp box set of Offenbach's 'Orpheus in the Underworld' (Plasson) ,as a teenager. A lovely,smart & very impressive looking,red coloured 3 Lp box set,with a nice big libretto,the records in clear plastic dust covers & that lovely illustration on the front! It really caught the eye!
  Nowadays,the visual presentation is sadly diminished (the only downside of the cd era?),but the performance is just as good!!! For me,this is still one of the livelier interpretations of operetta,in a commercially available recording. Vivacious is another word for it! The whole performance sparkles,from start to finish. As someone who has listened to piles of operetta recordings,I only wish they had all been as good as this. Marvellous!

  Now,off topic,slightly,I know,but if only the BBC would release their superb recordings of the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta's,from their 'vaults'! Probably the best studio performances of these operetta's ever made. Even the dialogue sounds good. Their performance of 'The Mikado' was particularly funny! These are the kind of performances that might just convince those who have been put off by the old D'oyly Carte/Sargent recordings * and umpteen,g*d awful,amateur & studio productions. The less well known 'Princess Ida' & 'Ruddigore',are a revelation,in these recordings. But so are they all!!! Shame on the Beeb for not allowing their release on cd! (They really ARE that good!!!!)
  In the meantime,the curious can,apparently,download them from the 'Unsung Composers' forum. (Update:15/8/12 The Unsung Composer forum has been revised,so I'm not sure about the set up there now!)*
I should point out,I'm not a member,(I like it here!)I got mine from a G & S admirer,who has good stuff like that! :)
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 04:09:43 AM by cilgwyn »

Offline listener

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #30 on: August 14, 2012, 06:05:11 PM »
Has anyone encountered Les Géorgiennes (aka The Merry Wives of Georgia)?
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cilgwyn

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2012, 06:59:00 AM »
I need more than tunes to keep my interest in the music. Harmony, rhythm, and structure are just as important.
An interesting point. I used to listen to allot of operetta when I was young & I had loads of 'complete' operetta recordings,especially some of those emi pathe/electrola recordings,which were given the advantage of lavish production values & starry casts,worlds away from the live recording jobs you get in this economic climate.
These days,like Mirror Image,I tend to prefer a little more meat with my pudding! ;D But composers like Offenbach are obviously craftsmen,and I can respect their work. 'Orpheus in the Underworld' has always been my favourite,particularly the Plasson recording of 'Orpheus in the Underworld'.
I remember being taken to a Welsh National Opera production of 'The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein' as a youngster,with Forbes Robinson,as a very memorable & amusing,General Boum. I later bought the 'complete' CBS recording with Regine Crespin,which used to get played quite allot.
  Not sure how these recordings rate,these days;but I had them as a youngster so there'll always be something 'special' about them. The Plasson/Orpheus was probably the more vivacious of the two,although I seem to remember Crespin was a very good Duchess. I did miss Forbes Robinson though! :(
  I do remember being tempted by the Plasson (emi) 'La Vie Parisienne',but never got round to buying it,for some reason. Only having so much pocket money I probably had to make some hard choices & my Offenbach collection stayed at two!

Of course,these recordings have all been superseded by more authentic,or superior recordings,I suppose;but they were pretty good for their time & for the afore mentioned reasons,they bring back allot of memories!

A bit off topic I know,but I do have some other french operetta's in my collection (all,Accord 2cd sets with dialogue)

Maillart: Les Dragons de Villars
Lecocq : Le Petit Duc               
Goublier: La Cocarde de Mimi Pinson

The recordings were made from 1961-1969 & if you like operetta by other French composers,I would definately recommend them. Obscure they may be,but they are very tuneful,enjoyable scores.The dialogue is well performed,with appropriate side effects. The performances are authentically French & the recordings which are very good for their age are not to be confused with some rather dated sounding performances which are appearing on some archive labels. These are first rate studio recordings!  The Goublier originates from 1915 & despite it's obscurity it is a lovely score. It is from what might be termed the 'silver age' of French operetta & is closer to the world of Lehar,than Lecocq or Messager. I am told that there is an even better recording of the Maillard,but I haven't heard it. No libretto's are supplied,I'm afraid!
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 10:02:57 AM by cilgwyn »

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2012, 10:00:09 AM »
Has anyone encountered Les Géorgiennes (aka The Merry Wives of Georgia)?
Only about a third of his works have been commited to disc. I've not seen this one on disc, though it appears you can buy the story on Amazon.

Maillart: Les Dragons de Villars
Lecocq : Le Petit Duc               
Goublier: La Cocarde de Mimi Pinson
I'm not familiar with these, but always happy to know of a few more operettas to wet one's interest. Thanks!
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cilgwyn

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2012, 10:29:30 AM »
Only about a third of his works have been commited to disc. I've not seen this one on disc, though it appears you can buy the story on Amazon.
I'm not familiar with these, but always happy to know of a few more operettas to wet one's interest. Thanks!

My pleasure! :)
 I seem to remember reading somewhere,that 'Le Duc' is regarded by some as a finer score than the better known 'Les Fille de Mme Angot'. As I do not have a recording of that score I can't vouch for this,but I enjoyed it. The Goublier has some enjoyable music & seems closer to the world of Lehar than Lecocq or Messager! For such an obscurity,the Maillart was a bit of a find! I think it should be better known. A reviewer on Amazon prefers an earlier recording,which I have not heard,but this sounds pretty good to me! The recordings were released on French Lps a long time ago & they are proper studio recordings,not to be confused with some of 'off air' type performances being released on certain archive labels. I would put the best of these on a par with French emi/pathe.

NB: No libretto's unfortunately! :(
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 11:35:41 AM by cilgwyn »

Offline Brian

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #34 on: September 08, 2014, 02:31:51 PM »
Coming soon!



Sarah Connolly, Brenda Rae, Russell Braun, Robert Murray, Neal Davies, Victoria Simmonds, Brindley Sherratt, Aled Hall, Gavan Ring

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Sir Mark Elder

Fantasio is considered one of Offenbach’s most beautiful and refined works. A heady cocktail of charm, gracefulness and gentle melancholy, of bad-tempered jokes and poetry, Fantasio marks the crucial step in Offenbach’s path towards The Tales of Hoffmann. Among the least known of Offenbach’s works it received only 10 performances following its very brief run in Paris in 1872 before it was dropped from the repertoire. This recording marks the world premiere studio recording of the complete opera using the new critical edition by Jean-Christophe Keck. Conducted by Sir Mark Elder, Opera Rara’s Artistic Director, the cast includes Sarah Connolly (Fantasio), Brenda Rae (Elsbeth), Russell Braun (Le prince), Brindley Sherratt (Le Roi) and Neal Davies (Sparck) with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Opera Rara Chorus.

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #35 on: September 08, 2014, 11:58:57 PM »
Coming soon!



Sarah Connolly, Brenda Rae, Russell Braun, Robert Murray, Neal Davies, Victoria Simmonds, Brindley Sherratt, Aled Hall, Gavan Ring

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Sir Mark Elder

Fantasio is considered one of Offenbach’s most beautiful and refined works. A heady cocktail of charm, gracefulness and gentle melancholy, of bad-tempered jokes and poetry, Fantasio marks the crucial step in Offenbach’s path towards The Tales of Hoffmann. Among the least known of Offenbach’s works it received only 10 performances following its very brief run in Paris in 1872 before it was dropped from the repertoire. This recording marks the world premiere studio recording of the complete opera using the new critical edition by Jean-Christophe Keck. Conducted by Sir Mark Elder, Opera Rara’s Artistic Director, the cast includes Sarah Connolly (Fantasio), Brenda Rae (Elsbeth), Russell Braun (Le prince), Brindley Sherratt (Le Roi) and Neal Davies (Sparck) with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Opera Rara Chorus.
Sweetness! I have all the Offenbach releases on Opera Rara and they are all excellent. I love how they have such quality organizations and people involved in these projects!

EDIT: Opera Rara already lists the disc in stock at their site (with the download available Sept 29).
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cilgwyn

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2016, 05:41:29 AM »
Some recent Offenbachian purchases:



I had the original CBS Lp set when I was a teenager. Much nicer artwork than this messy job,and,if memory serves me correctly;an english translation of the libretto. Still the music is all there;and the performance is just as good as I remember it. One of the very best stereo Offenbach sets. It badly needs a reissue with attractive retro packaging,and preferably a libretto as before!! I bought the original Lp set after my parents took me to a performance by the Welsh National Opera,with Forbes Robinson,in West Wales c 1980.




A lovely set. I missed this one as a yongster;although I was aware of the LP's. This earlier cd release has an english libretto. The newer reissue with Offenbach on the front,apparently,does not!!



This is wonderful performance;full of characterful interpretations and the right Offenbachian spirit. It is  a mono recording,but the sound quality sounds good to me. I certainly had no problem with it;and it's better than on the  Leibowitz sets of Orpheus and La Belle Helene,which are also in mono. The recording has dialogue;which has the lightness of touch the score needs. The occasional intrusion of a Narrator didn't bother me.



This was one of Offenbach's biggest successes in it's day,apparently. It has fallen out of favour since then. This 1967 French radio performance is the only one available;unless you count the Ohio Light Opera recording. This recording is the one I would prefer. The performances are very good indeed. The recording sounds as if it took place in aircraft hanger,however. It's very clear,though;and the occasional intrusion of a Narrator didn't bother me. Dialogue is included. The Opera d'oro has afew reviews on the internet;but this earlier Memories set is clear and I was very pleased with it. It is an enjoyable work and it is a pity it has not received more attention from recording labels. I am dubious that a new recording would improve on this one,however.




Offenbach in German,I hear you say!! But Offenbach really sparked off the craze for operetta in German speaking lands. Also,his operettas were very popular there for a while. This is a very spirited,lively performance;and it is actually well worth acquiring imho. Fun!



Another very lively Offenbach recording from Mattes. I really enjoyed this one as well! The Plasson recording is horribly expensive s/h at the moment. This one is fun!


cilgwyn

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2016, 05:43:44 AM »
The above in addition to my Accord,Plasson and Leibowitz sets. I would have posted more;but I was having problems with Shockwave. Photo Bucket insisted on my using it.

Offline Carshot

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Re: Jacques (Jacob) Offenbach
« Reply #39 on: March 29, 2020, 10:25:26 AM »
Hello all

I am currently enjoying the first release of Offenbach's last work Die Schone Lurette - (Belle Lurette) from a German radio performance in 1959. I can't find a detailed plot summary in English that maps the songs to what is happening in the plot (if such a thing exists). It is too obscure for the usually obliging Kurt Ganzl. Can anyone point me in the right direction please?

CD review here:

http://operetta-research-center.org/offenbachs-final-farewell-die-schone-lurette-1880-two-ddr-versions/

Also very much enjoying Maïtre Péronilla in a new recording that obliges with a book with all the details you could dream of wanting. So refreshing to have recordings of new works (new to me of course)….