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Offenbach - Piano Works Vol 2 / Marco Sollini


Release Date: 09/26/2006 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777161   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Marco Sollini has made something of a speciality of recording the piano compositions of operatic composers: his series of the piano works of Rossini is ongoing with Chandos; on Bongiovanni (GB 5118-2) he recorded one recital including works by Bellini, Verdi and Persiani and another (GB 5100-2) made up of compositions for piano by Puccini, Giordano and Mascagni. The present CD is the second that Sollini has devoted to Offenbach’s piano works.

It will come as no surprise to hear that this is not a disc for those who insist that their music must have intellectual weight or emotional profundity. This is decidedly lightweight, largely superficial, emotionally uninvolved. But it is also witty, sparkling and imbued in every bar with
Read more the spirit of the dance. Here are engaging, if not especially distinctive, waltzes, polkas, mazurkas and galops.

The booklet notes tell us that as a young man Offenbach – always good at self-publicity – contrived to get himself mentioned in a Parisian magazine, Ménestrel, in the following terms:

This Offenbach regularly composes three waltzes, before breakfast, a mazurka after lunch, and four gallops between two meals. This young wonder asks us to communicate that he has just lost a white handkerchief on which he had scribbled the notes of a waltz composition. A high reward is promised to the person who finds the handkerchief".

The facility of composition claimed here, while obviously exaggerated, has some truth to it – as reflected in the sheer number of operas he wrote! The piano pieces were not, one suspects, the fruits of great struggles or deliberation. Though precise dates aren’t given it appears that most of the music heard on this CD comes from the period between about 1850 and 1875. These are salon pieces, many of them bearing titles grounded in the details of Offenbach’s personal life – the polka-mazurka ‘Madeleine’ was dedicated to the actress of the Théatre Français, Madeleine Brohan; the ‘Schüler-Pola’ bears the name of the singer Clara Schüler, with whom Offenbach was amorously involved; the suite of waltzes entitled ‘Jacqueline’ honours Offenbach’s daughter; the ‘Herminien-Walzer’ is dedicated to Herminie d’Alcain, the beautiful Spaniard he married in 1844. There is, indeed, a sensuous and amorous quality to much of this music, its exhilarations dedicated to at least two muses, Terpsichore and Erato.

Occasionally Marco Sollini’s ‘dancing’ at the keyboard seems just a little stiff-limbed, a little too straight-backed as it were; one can imagine more fluid, more insinuatingly amorous readings of some of these pieces. But for the most part these are lively, committed and obviously affectionate performances, and they make for an enjoyable, refreshing programme – even if Offenbach’s writing for the piano doesn’t stimulate the desire for champagne with quite the potency that his best writing for the stage does!

-- Glyn Pursglove, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Abendblätter for Piano by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
2.
Schüler-Polka for Piano by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
3.
Les boules de neige by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
4.
Le Fleuve d’or by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
5.
Le Postillon by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
6.
Jacqueline by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
7.
Polka du mendiant for Piano by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
8.
Les Contes de la Reine de Navarre by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
9.
Souvenirs de Londres by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
10.
Herminien-Walzer for Piano by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
11.
Madeleine by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
12.
The Celebrated Pola Dance by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
13.
Les belles américaines by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1850-1876; Paris, France 
14.
Burlesque Polka by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
15.
Valse composée au château du Val le 9 août 1845 by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
16.
Galop infernal by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Marco Sollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 

Sound Samples

Abendblatter
Schuler-Polka
Les Boules de neige
Le Fleuve d'or
Le Postillon
Jacqueline
Polka du mendiant
Les Contes de la Reine de Navarre
Souvenirs de Londres
Herminien-Walzer
Madeleine
The Celebrated Polka Dance
Les Belles Americaines
Burlesque Polka
Valse composee au chateau du Val le 9 aout 1845
Galop infernal

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