Jacques Offenbach


Born: Jun 20, 1819; Germany   Died: Oct 5, 1880; France   Period: Romantic
Jacques Offenbach is best known for his opera Les contes d'Hoffman (Tales of Hoffmann) and for a work he did not compose, Gaîté parisienne, which used his themes as assembled and arranged by Manuel Rosenthal. Offenbach was one of those populist figures whose tuneful and exhilarating music could, at its best, elevate his art to classic status. His chief importance was in the development of the operetta as a bona fide genre on the world's stages. Read more In this endeavor he would exert influence to varying degrees over Johann Strauss II, Lehár, Sullivan, and many others.
Offenbach was born Jacob Offenbach in Cologne on June 20, 1819. His first lessons were on violin. At age nine his focus turned to the cello, possibly to become the third member of a family trio: his brother Julius was already proficient on the violin, and his sister Isabella was a good pianist. Together, the three played local engagements for small sums of money. Offenbach's teachers included Joseph Alexander and Bernhard Breuer.
In 1833, Offenbach's father took him to Paris, where he was enrolled at the Conservatory. It was during his early years there that he adopted the French version of his name, "Jacques." After leaving the Conservatory about a year later, Offenbach took further lessons on the cello from Louis Norblin, but, more importantly, studied composition with Halévy. He supported himself during this period by playing in the Opéra-Comique orchestra. By 1838, when he left his orchestral post, he had become one of the finest cellists in Europe and began performing with Flotow, who played the piano. Although he had been composing small pieces since his childhood, Offenbach began writing larger works now, like the score for the comedy, Pascal et Chambord, premiered in 1839.
Over the next several years, Offenbach met and performed with Anton Rubinstein and Franz Liszt, and he traveled to London in 1844 to give concerts with Mendelssohn and Joachim. That same year he married Herminie d'Alcain, following his conversion from Judaism to Catholicism. Clearly, Offenbach could have chosen to remain primarily a performing artist, but in 1847 he began composing operettas, his first being L'alcove. He was appointed conductor at the Théâtre Français in 1850, and by 1855, when he resigned that conducting post for another, began attaining regular performances of his works at important theaters like the Bouffes-Parisiens, at Salle Marigny.
Orphée aux enfers (Orpheus in the underworld) was a great success in 1858 and paved the way for his subsequent larger operettas. He had a string of hits in the mid-1860s: La belle Hélène (1864), Barbe-bleue (1866), La vie parisienne (1866), and La Périchole (1868). While his later works also achieved success, they did not generate the level of excitement attained by these.
In 1874, Offenbach, now director of the Théâtre de la Gaité, mounted new versions of some of his earlier successful operettas, like La Périchole, but failed to turn profits. Eventually he went into bankruptcy. A concert tour to the United States in 1876 and new productions of his works in London a few years later helped give him financial solvency. Offenbach continued composing up to his last days. He was working on his opera, the aforementioned Les contes d'Hoffman, when he died on October 5, 1880. The work, existing in piano score only, was orchestrated by Guiraud, who also made a few additions. Read less
Offenbach: Les Contes D'hoffmann / Cambreling, Durlovski, Cutler, Homberger
Release Date: 09/25/2015   Label: Bel Air Classiques  
Catalog: 124   Number of Discs: 1
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Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann / Konya, Mesple
Release Date: 02/05/2002   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 1331   Number of Discs: 2
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Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann / Konya, Mesple
Release Date: 03/09/2010   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 7074   Number of Discs: 2
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Offenbach: Suites For 2 Cellos / Roland Pidoux, Etienne Peclard
Release Date: 02/09/2010   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 1951043   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Les contes d'Hoffmann: Barcarolle

Browse 1-25 of 85 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Karajan - 1980s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002187902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 78
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    Love In Venice
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  • 3.
    I Don't Like Classical Music, But I Really Like This!
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 74698 Release Date: 06/17/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Carl Orff,  Richard Wagner,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
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    Karajan: Orchestra Spectaculars From Handel To Bartok
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633621 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Benjamin Britten,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 5.
    Die Leichte Muse Und Die Konigin Der Instrumente, Vol. 4
    Label: Querstand   Catalog: 1304 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Josef Rixner,  Ludwig Siede,  Marie-Auguste Durand,  José Padilla  ... 
    Performer:  Ursula Bosshardt,  Ursala Hauser
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  • 6.
    The Expressive Voice Of The Flute
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 21222 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Howard Blake,  William Lloyd Webber  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Rhodes,  Kenneth Smith
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  • 7.
    Montserrat Caballe - The Diva
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548834 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Maya Sunara,  Corinna Vozza,  Sherrill Milnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Anton Guadagno,  Carlo Felice Cillario,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra London,  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra,  RCA Italian Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 8.
    Classics For A Summer Evening From Leeds Castle / Carl Davis
    Label: Conifer   Catalog: 51302 Release Date: 11/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jeremiah Clarke,  George Frideric Handel,  Léo Delibes,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Janice Watson,  Ruby Philogene
    Conductor:  Carl Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  King's Division Normandy Band,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir
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  • 9.
    Titanic [4-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 192386 Release Date: 03/26/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  James Horner,  Emil Waldteufel,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Franz von Suppé  ... 
    Performer:  Celine Dion,  John McCormack,  Sissel,  Beatrice Kay  ... 
    Conductor:  James Horner,  Guy Lombardo,  Chuck Foster,  Edward "Duke" Ellington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Salonisti,  London Symphony Orchestra,  John Kirby Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    One Fine Day / Katherine Jenkins
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001632702 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Giacomo Puccini,  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Michael Kamen  ... 
    Performer:  Katherine Jenkins
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  • 11.
    50 Greatest Pieces Of Classical Music / London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 105 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Pieter Schoeman,  Finghin Collins,  Craig Ogden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 110 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Claude Debussy,  Jules Massenet,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Finghin Collins,  Andrea Kauten,  Sergio Tiempo,  Dubravka Tomsic  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Chamber Duo,  Saarland Radio Holzblaser-Trio
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  • 13.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 56028 Release Date: 08/12/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Lew Pollack,  Traditional,  Charles Gounod,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Conductor:  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani
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  • 14.
    Summer In The Park
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 82658 Release Date: 06/21/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  George Frideric Handel,  Claude Debussy,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Ingrid Fliter,  Han-Na Chang,  Aline Brewer,  Martin Roscoe  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Hans-Martin Linde,  Jean-Bernard Pommier,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Linde Consort
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  • 15.
    Classic Lullabies: Music For Sweetest Dreams
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 70829 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann,  Bernhard Flies,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Truls Otterbech Mork,  Juhani Lagerspetz,  Jean-Bernard Pommier,  Lars Anders Tomter  ... 
    Conductor:  Jeffrey Tate,  Richard Stamp,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Paul Tortelier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble
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  • 16.
    Label: Opera Collective   Catalog: 5637688526 Release Date: 03/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Vaughn Lindquist,  Geoffrey Duce,  Carla Wesby,  Adrienne Patino  ... 
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  • 17.
    100 Best Romantic Classics
    Label: Sonoma Entertainment   Catalog: 101 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Stephen Foster,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
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  • 18.
    50 Classical Music Favorites
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001388102 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Luigi Boccherini,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger,  Italo Colandrea,  Antonio Perez,  Michael Copley  ... 
    Conductor:  Frans Brüggen,  Sir Colin Davis,  Kurt Masur,  Silvio Varviso  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
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  • 19.
    Top 100 Favorite Classical Melodies
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94027 Release Date: 05/04/2010   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Sara Crombach,  Wladislav Warenberg,  Martijn van den Hoek,  Marc Grauwels  ... 
    Conductor:  Bohdan Warchal,  Enrique Bátiz,  Mark Ermler,  Georgi Robev  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Harp Ensemble,  London Baroque,  Musica ad Rhenum  ... 
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  • 20.
    Music For Battle Creek
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1348 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Philip Sparke,  W.C. Handy,  Emmanuel Chabrier  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantine Kitsopoulos,  Sarah Ioannides,  Richard Evans,  Mark Gould
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Battle Creek Band
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  • 21.
    Michael Zadora: The Complete Recordings, 1922-1938
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 6008 Release Date: 12/08/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Giovanni Sgambati,  Domenico Scarlatti  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Von Zadora
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  • 22.
    Nocturne / Carmen Dragon, Hollywood Bowl SO
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 63664 Release Date: 12/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Conductor:  Carmen Dragon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Waldbuhne Concert - French Night
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4507 Release Date: 08/25/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Georges Bizet,  Jacques Offenbach,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Leon Fleisher
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Bernstein Favorites - Opera For Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46714 Release Date: 07/06/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Alexander Borodin,  Georges Bizet,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 25.
    50 Classics For Relaxation / Ingman, Gerhardt, Gamley, Et Al
    Label: Time/Life Music   Catalog: 24742 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Paul A. Martini  ... 
    Performer:  Keith Harvey,  José Luis Garcia,  Larry Dalton,  Skaila Kanga  ... 
    Conductor:  David Firman,  Franck Pourcel,  Charles Gerhardt,  Eric Hammerstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Franck Pourcel Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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