18 Sep 2005

Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880)

From Composer of the Week, 9:00 am on 18 September 2005
Jacques Offenbach

Jacques Offenbach Photo: Nadar, Public Domain

 

Offenbach is most-remembered for the Can-Can, but there's more to the man than high kicks.

He has always been a popular composer and there has never been a time when his stage works have been entirely out of fashion.

In France and central Europe they have been a staple. In the English-speaking world, his thunder has been somewhat stolen by Arthur Sullivan, who is in many ways his inferior, but more and more his invention, wit and daring are earning his music its rightful status.

Jacques Offenbach was born in 1819 in Cologne, the son of a Jewish cantor. His jewishness in a basically anti-semitic France, was one of the reasons why he was always an outsider in the Parisian musical world, despite his later fame and his acceptance in the salons of the famous.

Elric Hooper and Des Wilson look at the life, times and music of one of Europe's more colourful characters.

Music Details:

OFFENBACH   The Tales of Hoffman   Decca 417 363

OFFENBACH   La Belle Hélène   EMI 7 471578

OFFENBACH   La Vie Parisienne   EMI CDS 7 47154

OFFENBACH   Concerto-Rondo for Cello   RCA 71003

OFFENBACH   Orpheus in the Underworld   EMI CDS 7 49647

OFFENBACH   Les Brigands   EMI CDS 7 49830

OFFENBACH   La Belle Hélène   EMI 7 471578

OFFENBACH   The Tales of Hoffman   Decca 417 363

OFFENBACH   La Périchole   Erato 2292 45686

OFFENBACH   Orpheus in the Underworld   EMI CDS 7 49647

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