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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 11, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica
The elegant Jodie Devos puts her talents to work in service of a fairly unknown known side of Offenbach, taking on several somewhat-forgotten pieces which call for very specific voices, known in Offenbach’s day by names such as "chanteuse d’agilité", "chanteuse à roulade" or "première chanteuse légère". Of course, everyone knows the tune of the doll Olympia from Tales of Hoffmann, or the telling of the death of Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld, but the substantial repertoire of the composer's smaller pieces (which he generally referred to as "operettas" to distinguish them from his larger works, his famous opéras bouffe) contains a number of virtuoso arias for coloratura soprano. In them, we hear the vocal imitation of the jeu perlé piano technique or of Paganini's "flying staccato", in which unstinting bravura hides the real difficulty behind something apparently easy. But the difference from many bel canto composers, who merely show off vocals and melody, is that Offenbach knows how to charge these things with emotion, with textual significance, with personality, and with contrasts: simple mechanics never take precedence over diversity. This record allows us to discover a neat little collection of sadly little-known works which are well overdue a return to the French stage. © SM/Qobuz
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Opera - Released February 14, 2020 | Bru Zane

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 5 étoiles de Classica
Faded into oblivion and absent from stages since 1879, the vivacious Maître Péronilla was lavishly put on at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in the Spring of 2019 to celebrate 200 years since the birth of Jacques Offenbach. This publication is the result of a collaboration between the Bru-Zane Foundation and Radio France for the recording. This piece of music was written in the last few years of Offenbach’s life, a Spanish language operetta that was part of the wave of Spanish fever that was crashing over France since Bizet and Chabrier and that would last until Debussy and Ravel. With its frenzied rhythm and signature Offenbach dialogue (aided by Nuitter and Ferrier, who hit the mark at every occasion), this work cheerfully borrows from a variety of styles while reprising a few of the composer’s older techniques but with a new sense of refinement that supersedes the previously light atmosphere. The rarity of this work is partly due to the convoluted nature of the libretto. The plotline revolves around an arranged marriage, presenting twenty different characters from three separate generations. The wonderful cast of singers has done a great job of reviving the opera buffa, with Antoinette Dennefeld playing young but tender scholar Frimouskino standing out. Eric Huchet and Véronique Gens are at the pinnacle of the joy and vivacity that seem to have taken hold of the whole cast of protagonists of this production directed by Markus Poschner who also conducts the National Orchestra of France and the Radio France choir. © François Hudry
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Duets - Released October 25, 2019 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released October 4, 2019 | Alpha

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A grasshopper, a milkmaid’s pail, a shepherd, a fox, a country mouse, a cobbler... These are just some of the diverse and varied characters from the famous Fables that Jacques Offenbach decided to set to music in 1842, some 150 years after they were written by Jean de La Fontaine. With their vivid texts featuring talking animals and stock characters, the Fables offered an allegorical and didactic way of alluding to the court and the mores of the time. Offenbach chose six of the 240 Fables of La Fontaine to set as mélodies. Here the conductor Jean-Pierre Haeck presents them in his own orchestration performed by the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen and the mezzo-soprano Karine Deshayes, who excels in this repertory. To complete the programme, the singer performs numbers from Offenbach’s opéra-bouffe Boule-de-neige and the orchestra plays movements from the ballet Le Papillon, offering listeners a recording as refined as it is witty. © Alpha Classics
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Overtures - Released May 3, 2019 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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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Classical - Released June 14, 2019 | Bru Zane

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Recordings of Offenbach's 1868 operetta La Périchole, here performed in an 1873 revision, have been rather uncommon. True, it doesn't contain any of the big Offenbach hits, and its Peruvian setting, with a variety of Spanish dances and chinoiserie standing in for whatever music might have been heard in colonial Peru, seems increasingly preposterous as time goes on. However, verisimilitude has never been a requirement in operetta, and this story of the titular street singer (who was an actual historical individual) pursued by a sleazy colonial administrator hits a lot of the bases. Anglophone listeners will note that Arthur Sullivan surely knew this music inside and out, and replicated the combination of limpid songs for the heroine and quite a few sharp narrative choruses. This production, recorded live in 2018 at the Festival Radio France Occitanie in Montpellier, is nothing fancy, but that is its charm. La Périchole is nicely sung by a mezzo-soprano with the delightful name of Aude Extrémo, who resists the temptation to ham it up (sample her drunk scene, "Ah, quel diner je viens de faire") and inhabits the role well. The large cast is consistent, and conductor Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre, far from their Baroque origins, keep things moving in a lively way. One gets the sense that Offenbach would have been fully satisfied, and the recording is a must for any operetta fan. © TiVo
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Cello Concertos - Released February 15, 2019 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
This concerto begins with a march that is reminiscent of the first act of Beethoven’s Fidelio, which announces the arrival of the sinister character Pizarro - a jest that in turn sets the scene for the soloist's arrival on Jacques Offenbach’s Grand Concerto for Cello in G Major. The piece was tackled by Jérôme Pernoo in 2009 for Archiv Produktion. Twenty-two years his junior, it is the talented Edgar Moreau recording this work here; composed in Paris in 1847, the concerto is presented in a meticulous reconstruction by Jean-Christophe Keck, the undisputed specialist of the German composer. It’s a challenging work for the soloist, testing both virtuosity and stamina with a staggering duration of over forty minutes. Born before his time, the pianist Friedrich Gulda was an expert in musical hybridization, viewing classical music as too constraining. Being open to jazz and all other kinds of music, he wrote a concerto (one of the highlights on this record) for the cellist Heinrich Schiff in 1980. Composed for a varied ensemble of musicians, it mixes a big band with a classical orchestra, using an amp to accentuate the cello's quiet voice. The result is a perplexing score that fuses jazz, waltz (let's not forget that Gulda is Viennese), Ländler and a peaceful “Ranz des Vaches” – traditional melodies played in the Swiss Alps by herdsmen driving cattle. This is a deliciously iconoclastic record that’s as hair-raising as Edgar Moreau's messy locks and the cellist tackles the work with a beautifully playful approach. He is the youngest of a large group of French cellists working today who are perpetuating the appeal of this instrument that has been hugely popular in the western world since replacing the viola da gamba. The carefully selected musicians from the ensemble Les Forces Majeures are conducted with precision and humour by Raphaël Merlin. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Opera - Released August 7, 2020 | CPO

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Classical - Released January 1, 1972 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released November 6, 2001 | Warner Classics

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released September 2, 2005 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released January 1, 1972 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released March 14, 2011 | Warner Classics

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Opera - Released March 8, 2019 | Orfeo

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Classical - Released April 15, 2014 | Ina, musique(s)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1982 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released May 3, 2019 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Opera Rara

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Classical - Released April 15, 2014 | Ina, musique(s)