With Offenbach Romantique, Marc Minkowski – the pre-eminent Offenbach conductor of our day – sheds light on his compatriot’s neglected instrumental output in a program that showcases Offenbach’s irresistible qualities as an orchestral, Romantic composer.
The album features the sensational world premiere recording of the long-lost original version of Jacques Offenbach’s large-scale Grand Concerto pour Violoncelle et Orchestre (“Concerto militaire”) for cello and orchestra – recorded here complete for the first time. It is often overlooked that the composer was himself a superb cello player, known in the salons of Paris as the “Liszt of the cello” – his only concerto is as much a document of Offenbach’s love for this instrument as it is proof of the composer’s rich compositional skills. In “Concerto militaire”, Offenbach combines a sparkling, witty approach with rich lyricism and soaring melodies, all interwoven with passages requiring breathtaking, Paganini-like virtuosity.
Conductor Marc Minkowski teams up with exceptional cello virtuoso Jérôme Pernoo and Les Musiciens du Louvre to create a unique and long-overdue homage to Offenbach the impassioned Romantic composer – far removed from the opéra bouffe clichés, Offenbach Romantique is a colourful tribute to Jacques Offenbach’s orchestral writing.
Ouverture Orphée aux Enfers
Grand Concerto pour Violoncelle et Orchestre
Les Fées du Rhin
Voyage dans la Lune (Ballet des Flocons de Neige)
Les Musiciens du Louvre
Marc Minkowski, Conductor
Jérôme Pernoo, violoncello
Recorded: Auditorium MC2 (Maison de la Culture), January 2006
File includes large format cover art and CD-booklet