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Offenbach: Orpheus In Der Unterwelt / Lopez Cobos, Varnay, Grobe, Shirley, Lohner

About AbeBooks. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Jupiter insists on a minuet, which everybody else finds boring "La la la. Le menuet n'est vraiment si charmant". Things liven up as the most famous number in the opera, the "Galop infernal", begins, and all present throw themselves into it with wild abandon "Ce bal est original". The plot is essentially that of the version.

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Instead of two acts with two scenes apiece, the later version is in four acts, which follow the plot of the four scenes of the original. The revised version differs from the first in having several interpolated ballet sequences, and some extra characters and musical numbers. The additions do not affect the main narrative but add considerably to the length of the score.

In Act 2 Mercure is given a solo entrance number "Eh hop! In Act 3, Eurydice has a new solo, the "Couplets des regrets" "Ah! The score of the opera, which formed the pattern for the many full-length Offenbach operas that followed, is described by Faris as having an "abundance of couplets" songs with repeated verses for one or more singers , "a variety of other solos and duets, several big choruses, and two extended finales".

Offenbach wrote in a variety of styles — from Rococo pastoral vein, via pastiche of Italian opera, to the uproarious galop — displaying, in Faris's analysis, many of his personal hallmarks, such as melodies that "leap backwards and forwards in a remarkably acrobatic manner while still sounding not only smoothly lyrical, but spontaneous as well". In such up-tempo numbers as the "Galop infernal", Offenbach makes a virtue of simplicity, often keeping to the same key through most of the number, with largely unvarying instrumentation throughout. In the "duo de la mouche" Jupiter's part, consisting of buzzing like a fly, is accompanied by the first and second violins playing sul ponticello , to produce a similarly buzzing sound.

Faris instances three numbers from the second act version , which all are in the key of A major and use identical notes in almost the same order, "but it would be hard to imagine a more extreme difference in feeling than that between the song of the King of the Boeotians and the Galop ".

In Thomas Schipperges wrote in the International Journal of Musicology that many scholars hold that Offenbach's music defies all musicological methods. He did not agree, and analysed the "Galop infernal", finding it to be sophisticated in many details: "For all its straightforwardness, it reveals a calculated design. The overall 'economy' of the piece serves a deliberate musical dramaturgy. The orchestra at the Bouffes-Parisiens was small — probably about thirty players. For the premiere of the revised version he engaged an orchestra of sixty players, as well as a military band of a further forty players for the procession of the gods from Olympus at the end of the second act.

The music of the revision was well received by contemporary reviewers, [62] [79] but some later critics have felt the longer score, with its extended ballet sections, has occasional dull patches, [22] [80] [81] [n 15] Nonetheless, some of the added numbers, particularly Cupidon's "Couplets des baisers", Mercure's rondo "Eh hop", and the "Policeman's Chorus" have gained favour, and some or all are often added to performances otherwise using the text.

For more than a century after the composer's death one cause of critical reservations about this and the his other works was the persistence of what the musicologist Nigel Simeone has called "botched, butchered and bowdlerised" versions. It was arranged by the Austrian musician Carl Binder — for the first production of the opera in Vienna, in Janin's furious condemnation did the work much more good than harm, [9] and was in contrast with the laudatory review of the premiere by Jules Noriac in the Figaro-Programme , which called the work, "unprecedented, splendid, outrageous, gracious, delightful, witty, amusing, successful, perfect, tuneful".

The music of Offenbach has retained its youth and spirit. The spectacle of the Olympian gods doing the cancan threatened nobody's dignity.


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After Offenbach's death his reputation in France suffered a temporary eclipse. In Faris's words, his comic operas were "dismissed as irrelevant and meretricious souvenirs of a discredited Empire". Gabriel Groviez wrote in The Musical Quarterly :. The first production outside France is believed to have been at Breslau in October The work was given in German at the Carltheater , Vienna, in March in a version by Ludwig Kalisch , revised and embellished by Johann Nestroy , who played Jupiter.

Making fun of Graeco-Roman mythology had a long tradition in the popular theatre of Vienna, and audiences had no difficulty with the disrespect that had outraged Jules Janin and others in Paris. Leigh A spectacular production by Reinhardt was presented in New York in There are three full-length recordings. It uses the score with some additions from the revision. The English text is by Jeremy Sams. There have been three full-length recordings in German. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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From Musopen. Faris mentions a scene cut in February during the first run. Bartleman Pluto. Desmonts Jupiter and M. Carrier Pluton.


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Woodfield Pluto. Retrieved 26 April Retrieved 23 April Retrieved 9 May Jacques Offenbach. Die Rheinnixen The Tales of Hoffmann Les deux aveugles Tromb-al-ca-zar, ou Les criminels dramatiques Le financier et le savetier La bonne d'enfant Mesdames de la Halle Le roi Carotte Le voyage dans la lune Orpheus and Eurydice.

Orpheus in der Unterwelt – Kurzeinführung - Volksoper Wien

Eurydice Orpheus. Sir Orfeo c. Landscape with Orpheus and Eurydice Poem Strip. Orpheus Chaconne