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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


How can we forget Offenbach?

The German born adoptive son of France, was a virtouso on the Cello, but a prolific operetta composer, he had a nack for melody and rythm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Beat me to it.

Indeed, his abhorrent and simplistic piece (singular) is thrust in our ears all the time. Every junior band or concert band plays it at least once a year.
Oh, come on, there is more to him than just the Can-Can, listen to the love duet between Helen and Paris in the second act of La Belle Helen or what about Le Contes d'Hoffman? or as Tanevey pointed out his cello works?
 

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Pity there was no-one else around to fight Offenbach's corner when the thread started, if only to counter the rather smugly off-hand responses by two since long-gone members.

OK, accusations can be hurled at Offenbach for being a bread-and-circuses composer who was probably far too prolific for his own creative good, but I've never heard comic opera that makes me smile as much as Offenbach's does when he was on good form, and there are at least four of his works for the stage that deserve to remain evergreen.
 

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I've never understood the need of some people to scorn the tastes of others. Snobbery drives people away from the Classical world. There are composers that I dislike, so I either endeavour to learn more (and perhaps change my mind) or I stay silent. I love Offenbach. He was my gateway to Opera. I adore La Belle Helene, Les Contes d' Hoffman, La Perichole, and Orphee aux Enfers.
 

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I've never understood the need of some people to scorn the tastes of others. Snobbery drives people away from the Classical world. There are composers that I dislike, so I either endeavour to learn more (and perhaps change my mind) or I stay silent. I love Offenbach. He was my gateway to Opera. I adore La Belle Helene, Les Contes d' Hoffman, La Perichole, and Orphee aux Enfers.
Hear, hear:tiphat:
Don't listen to it if you feel you are to great or to good ;)
 

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OK, accusations can be hurled at Offenbach for being a bread-and-circuses composer who was probably far too prolific for his own creative good, but I've never heard comic opera that makes me smile as much as Offenbach's does when he was on good form, and there are at least four of his works for the stage that deserve to remain evergreen.

I fully agree. It is interesting how in other threads the influence of this or that composer is touted as proof of their importance... but what of the influence of Offenbach? His works were incredibly influential upon the entire genre of operetta... including Gilbert & Sullivan, Johann Strauss, Franz Lehár, etc... His work was also loved by "serious" composer including: Debussy, Bizet, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. His music combined elements of "high" and "low" (popular) culture which ultimately impacted the larger culture of the time... embraced by writers and especially visual artists. As a sworn Wagnerian I still appreciate his light-hearted deflation of the "seriousness" of Wagner and Berlioz. Similarly I appreciate the social criticism of his work... often aimed at Napoleon III and his government. Ultimately I find much of his music fun... sheer pleasure... sensual... and laden with memorable melodies. His music may be "mere" Parisian bon-bons... but sometimes bon-bons are just what I desire and there are none finer IMO.
 
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I love Offenbach's music!

There's a line from Offenbach to Monty Python and Asterix. Which other composer would give you a heroine singing a waltz while being cooked by cannibals?

Or the hero pursued by Public Opinion?

Or a love duet in which one of the parties is Zeus disguised as a blowfly?

Or a trio sung in pidgin Italian (one of the funniest moments in music)?

Or the Ronde des Chemins de fer? (Can't find a version online!)

(more below!)
 
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