Image Source: Wikipedia

Jacques Offenbach

Jacques Offenbach (, also US: , French: [ʒak ɔfɛnbak], German: [ˈʔɔfn̩bax] (listen); 20 June 1819 – 5 October 1880) was a German-French composer, cellist and impresario of the romantic period. He is remembered for his nearly 100 operettas of the 1850s–1870s and his uncompleted opera The Tales of Hoffmann. He was a powerful influence on later composers of the operetta genre, particularly Johann Strauss, Jr. and Arthur Sullivan. His best-known works were continually revived during the 20th century, and many of his operettas continue to be staged in the 21st. The Tales of Hoffmann remains part of the standard opera repertory.

Born in Cologne, the son of a synagogue cantor, Offenbach showed early musical talent. At the age of 14, he was accepted as a student at the Paris Conservatoire but found academic study unfulfilling and left after a year. From 1835 to 1855 he earned his living as a cellist, achieving international fame, and as a conductor. His ambition, however, was to compose comic pieces for the musical theatre. Finding the management of Paris' Opéra-Comique company uninterested in staging his works, in 1855 he leased a small theatre in the Champs-Élysées. There he presented a series of his own small-scale pieces, many of which became popular.

In 1858, Offenbach produced his first full-length operetta, Orphée aux enfers ("Orpheus in the Underworld"), which was exceptionally well received and has remained one of his most played works. During the 1860s, he produced at least 18 full-length operettas, as well as more one-act pieces. His works from this period included La belle Hélène (1864), La Vie parisienne (1866), La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (1867) and La Périchole (1868). The risqué humour (often about sexual intrigue) and mostly gentle satiric barbs in these pieces, together with Offenbach's facility for melody, made them internationally known, and translated versions were successful in Vienna, London and elsewhere in Europe.

Offenbach became associated with the Second French Empire of Napoleon III; the emperor and his court were genially satirised in many of Offenbach's operettas. Napoleon III personally granted him French citizenship and the Légion d'Honneur. With the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Offenbach found himself out of favour in Paris because of his imperial connections and his German birth. He remained successful in Vienna and London, however. He re-established himself in Paris during the 1870s, with revivals of some of his earlier favourites and a series of new works, and undertook a popular U.S. tour. In his last years he strove to finish The Tales of Hoffmann, but died before the premiere of the opera, which has entered the standard repertory in versions completed or edited by other musicians.

Birth and Death Data: Born June 20th, 1819 (Cologne), Died Paris

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1900 - 1945

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, lyricist

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 158 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Berliner 01088 7-in. 3/14/1900 Overture Royal Italian Band Band composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]1434 10-in. 6/19/1902 Orpheus : Overture Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix C-]1434 12-in. 6/19/1902 Orpheus : Overture Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor C-2730 12-in. 9/6/1905 Orphée aux enfers overture Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor B-3781 10-in. 9/7/1906 Barcarolle Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor B-4107 10-in. 12/6/1906 Legende Gudrun Carlson ; Johannes Herskind Female-male vocal duet, with piano composer  
Victor B-4109 10-in. 12/6/1906 Fritz og Lise Gudrun Carlson ; Johannes Herskind Female-male vocal duet, with piano composer  
Victor B-4963 10-in. 12/9/1907 Barcarolle Victor Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-4963 10-in. 3/23/1926 Les contes d'Hoffmann : Barcarolle Victor Concert Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor C-5000 12-in. 1/7/1908 Air de Dapertutto Marcel Journet Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-6046 10-in. 3/25/1908 C'est elle Charles Dalmorès Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-6048 10-in. 3/25/1908 O Dieu de quelle ivresse Charles Dalmorès Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-6342 10-in. 8/12/1908 Barcarolle Valentine Abt ; Roy Butin Mandolin and harp-guitar duet composer  
Victor B-8274 10-in. 10/4/1909 Barcarolle Geraldine Farrar ; Antonio Scotti Vocal duet (soprano and baritone), with orchestra composer  
Victor B-8307 10-in. 10/19/1909 Barcarolle Vienna Quartet Instrumental quartet composer  
Victor B-8394 10-in. 11/22/1909 Barcarolle Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra composer  
Victor BB-8756 10-in. 3/28/1910 L'amour de l'Apache Victor Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor B-8790 10-in. 4/4/1910 L'anima in teriposa David Devriès ; Gabrielle Lejeune-Gilibert Vocal duet (mezzo-soprano and tenor), with orchestra composer  
Victor B-9065 10-in. 6/8/1910 Offenbachiana Arthur Pryor's Band Band composer  
Victor BB-9787 10-in. 1/12/1911 Les contes d'Hoffmann : Barcarolle Guido Gialdini Whistling solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-9930 12-in. 2/8/1911 Les contes d'Hoffmann : Selection Victor Concert Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor B-10614 10-in. 6/26/1911 Pieśń Styxa Karol Wachtel Male vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-11098 10-in. 10/13/1911 Barcarolle Victor Herbert's Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor C-11144 12-in. 10/27/1911 Gems from The tales of Hoffmann Victor Light Opera Company Vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-11144 12-in. 7/12/1928 Gems from The tales of Hoffmann Victor Opera Company Vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra composer  
(Results 1-25 of 158 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Offenbach, Jacques," accessed October 29, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102760.

Offenbach, Jacques. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102760.

"Offenbach, Jacques." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 29 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102760

Feedback

Send the Editors a message about this record.