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Howard Griffiths|Offenbach : Opera Ouvertures

Offenbach : Opera Ouvertures

Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Howard Griffiths

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Here is a refreshing recording, offering a selection of a dozen of Offenbach’s overtures, carefully omitting some of his most famous pieces to give the listener a pleasant feeling of discovery with regard to an otherwise well-known and recorded composer. Who could pretend to know Les Bavards, Les Bergers, Monsieur et Madame Denis or Le Roi Carotte. Titles that invariably highlight the prolixity of the bourgeois entertainer that was Jacques Offenbach.


Composed once the artist had finished the overall work, all these pieces can be assimilated to “potpourri overtures”. They borrow and combine the themes later developed by the singers, which serve as a refrain for the listener. Very few composers escaped the rule, with the notable exceptions of Mozart whose overtures are most often pieces in their own right, and Beethoven who, after composing three overtures for his only opera piece, wrote the one for Fidelio, which didn’t prefigure any of the themes to come.


After the social satire characterised by a series of works incorporating the current context and jeering at politics and morals, Offenbach had to shift his focus following the fall of the Second French Empire, and opted to write fantasies and comic operas, up until his latest masterpieces. This album offers a panorama of Offenbach’s many styles, juxtaposing plagiarism, parody, the spirit of dance, and an innate sense of melody. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Offenbach : Opera Ouvertures

Howard Griffiths

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Les Bavards (Jacques Offenbach)

1
Les bavards: Ouverture
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt
00:06:29

Jacques Offenbach, Composer - Howard Griffiths, Conductor - Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

Les Bergers (Jacques Offenbach)

2
Les bergers: Ouverture
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt
00:05:06

Jacques Offenbach, Composer - Howard Griffiths, Conductor - Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

Le Roi Carotte (Jacques Offenbach)

3
Le roi Carotte, Act IV: Entracte
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt
00:03:44

Jacques Offenbach, Composer - Howard Griffiths, Conductor - Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

Monsieur Choufleuri restera chez lui, le… (Jacques Offenbach)

4
Monsieur Choufleuri restera chez lui, le: Ouverture
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt
00:06:55

Jacques Offenbach, Composer - Howard Griffiths, Conductor - Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

Les brigands (Jacques Offenbach)

5
Les brigands: Ouverture
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt
00:03:09

Jacques Offenbach, Composer - Howard Griffiths, Conductor - Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

Ba-Ta-Clan (Jacques Offenbach)

6
Ba-ta-clan: Ouverture
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt
00:02:50

Jacques Offenbach, Composer - Howard Griffiths, Conductor - Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

Geneviève de Brabant (Jacques Offenbach)

7
Geneviève de Brabant: Ouverture - Act III Entracte
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt
00:03:55

Jacques Offenbach, Composer - Howard Griffiths, Conductor - Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

Monsieur et Madame Denis (Jacques Offenbach)

8
Ouverture
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt
00:06:34

Jacques Offenbach, Composer - Howard Griffiths, Conductor - Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

La Créole (Jacques Offenbach)

9
La créole: Ouverture
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt
00:03:21

Jacques Offenbach, Composer - Howard Griffiths, Conductor - Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

La Princesse de Trebizonde (Jacques Offenbach)

10
La princesse de Trébizonde: Ouverture
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt
00:06:45

Jacques Offenbach, Composer - Howard Griffiths, Conductor - Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

Madame Favart (Jacques Offenbach)

11
Ouverture
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt
00:04:42

Jacques Offenbach, Composer - Howard Griffiths, Conductor - Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

L'ile de Tulipatan (Jacques Offenbach)

12
L'île de Tulipatan: Ouverture
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt
00:04:16

Jacques Offenbach, Composer - Howard Griffiths, Conductor - Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

Album Description

Here is a refreshing recording, offering a selection of a dozen of Offenbach’s overtures, carefully omitting some of his most famous pieces to give the listener a pleasant feeling of discovery with regard to an otherwise well-known and recorded composer. Who could pretend to know Les Bavards, Les Bergers, Monsieur et Madame Denis or Le Roi Carotte. Titles that invariably highlight the prolixity of the bourgeois entertainer that was Jacques Offenbach.


Composed once the artist had finished the overall work, all these pieces can be assimilated to “potpourri overtures”. They borrow and combine the themes later developed by the singers, which serve as a refrain for the listener. Very few composers escaped the rule, with the notable exceptions of Mozart whose overtures are most often pieces in their own right, and Beethoven who, after composing three overtures for his only opera piece, wrote the one for Fidelio, which didn’t prefigure any of the themes to come.


After the social satire characterised by a series of works incorporating the current context and jeering at politics and morals, Offenbach had to shift his focus following the fall of the Second French Empire, and opted to write fantasies and comic operas, up until his latest masterpieces. This album offers a panorama of Offenbach’s many styles, juxtaposing plagiarism, parody, the spirit of dance, and an innate sense of melody. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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