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After themes of Jacques Offenbach

CD with booklet in English

Article code: NP2012

After themes of Jacques Offenbach

Everyone knows Jacques Offenbach, at least for his most famous piece of music, the Cancan. Everyone has also a piece of predelection, but on this record you may discover other aspects of the great composer, a variety of very different and sometimes less frequently performed musical themes. This fantasy ballet evokes a beautiful love story, the music brings back the atmosphere of 19th century ball-nights where actors and students, officers and other young people encounter each other. The variations of the themes reflect their changing relationships.

The instrument allows for a differentiated interpretation of the original themes, due to the excellent arrangements and a judicious choice of the organ's registers, approaching thereby the sound of an authentic orchestra.

Nuits Parisiennes :  Why would we play Offenbach on a Barrel-Organ ?

In 1938 the opera of Monte Carlo asked the composer Manuel Rosenthal to create a ballet of 40 minutes with themes inspired by the music of Jacques Offenbach. He called it Gaîté Parisienne. Since then this ballet has become a famous piece of music and part of the repertoire of many orchestras.

Jerôme Collomb, a fervent admirer of Offenbach and who simultaneously is very fond of mechanical music began some time ago to adapt the music of his favourite composer for barrel-organs and music boxes. After the overture to Coscoletto, an opera the libretto of which he transposed in French, a few quadrilles (Bagatelle) and polkas (L’Ile de Tulipatan) for organs with a 27-note scale, and a Waltz from The Tales of Hoffmann for a Polyphon-Musicbox, he decided to arrange popular tunes from Gaité Parisienne. But the choice had it’s difficulties - during his research he discovers other interesting although less well known melodies and themes - and finally he comes up with a new project, Nuits Parisiennes.

When he presents several samples of his arrangements to Gérard Dabonot he, as well as other friends of mechanical music, are enthusiastic about the result. In collaboration with the company Le Turlutain more than 250 m of punched paper-rolls are produced for organs with the popular French 27-note scale.

The Organ

The instrument that plays on this record has been built in 2003 in the German organ-factory Raffin. Its pneumatic system reads 27/29 scale paper-rolls. The organ is equipped with 5 manual registers in the melody part allowing for variations of the sound of the instrument. Combinations of the bourdon, violin, and piccolo registers lead to a wide variety of rich sounds on this organ particularly suitable for concert music.

Contents of the CD

Booklet (12 p.) + CD

01 – Ouverture: La Vie parisienne 2’50
02 – Polka: La Diva & Exit : The Tales of Hoffmann 3’23
03 – Reverie: Le Voyage dans la Lune 3’24
04 – Gallop: La Grande-Duchesse de Gerolstein & La Belle Hélène 2’26
05 – March: Mesdames de la Halle 1’09
06 – Polka: Le Voyage dans la Lune 1’48
07 – Mazurka: Lieschen et Fritzchen & Fanfare : Le Voyage dans la Lune 2’08
08 – Polka: Madame l’Archiduc 1’57
09 – Ballad: Fantasio 2’20
10 – Scene & Waltz: Scene extracted from Barbe Bleue; Waltz extracted from La Vie parisienne 3’32
11 – Quadrille: La Vie parisienne 4’09
12 – Waltz: Fantasio & La Chanson de Fortunio 4’02
13 – Quadrille: La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein 1’07
14 – March: Tromb Al Ca Zar 1’33
15 – Scene: Fantasio 0’50
16 – Polka: La Jolie Parfumeuse 1’43
17 – Gallop: La Vie parisienne 1’03
18 – Scene and Waltz: Scene extracted from Orphée aux Enfers; Waltz extracted from La Belle Hélène 4’20
19 – Appearance of the students: La Vie parisienne 1’05
20 – Gallop: Robinson Crusoé 2’00
21 – Scene: Fantasio & The Tales of Hoffmann 1’40
22 – Waltz: Orphée aux Enfers 2’48
23 – Solo: Le Voyage dans la Lune 2’15
24 – Waltz: La Périchole 3’42
25 – Polka: Le Roi Carotte 1’52
26 – March: La Fille du Tambour-Major 1’13
27 – Aria: Fantasio 0’54
28 – Gipsy March: Le Docteur Ox 1’48
29 – Barcarolle: The Tales of Hoffmann 3’51
30 – Little scene: La Chatte Métamorphosée en Femme 1’14
31 – Final Scene: Fantasio 0’58
32 – Final Quadrille: Orphée aux Enfers 4’52

Total length: 73' 56

You can listen to a sample of the music (MP3)
N° 22 Waltz: Orphée aux enfers
© All rights at Le Turlutain

10.00  € 7.00 incl. VAT

Stock: Disponible