Overture from the Opéra-comique "La Fille du Tambour-Major" ("The Drum-Major´s Daughter")
Overture from the Opéra bouffe "Orphée aux Enfers" ("Orpheus in the Underworld") (Arr.: Karl Binder)
Overture from the Opéra bouffe "La Belle Hélène" ("The Fair Helen") (Arr.: Friedrich Lehner)
Overture from the opéra bouffe "Barbe-Bleue" ("Bluebeard") (Arr.: Fritz Hoffmann)
Overture from the Opéra bouffe "La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein" (Arr.: Fritz Hoffmann)
Overture from the Opéra-comique "Monsieur et Madame Denis"
Overture from the Opéra bouffe "La vie parisienne" ("Parisian life") (Arr.: Bernhard Wolff)
Overture from the Opéra-comique "Vert-Vert" ("Cockatoo") (Arr.: Fritz Hoffmann)
La Fille du tambour-major
Orphée aux enfers
La Belle Hélène
La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein
Monsieur et Madame Denis
La Vie parisienne
Total playing time60:35
Offenbach seldom wrote overtures, since he considered such pieces a waste of time. It was not a concert atmosphere that he sought to create in the theatre, still less did he want his audience to grow bored with nothing to look at except a closed curtain. As a genuine man of the theatre he was interested above all in dramatic tension action and situation comedy. The majority of the overtures to Offenbach´s operettas are the work of Fritz Hoffmann, who was responsible for three of the overtures included in the present recording: La Grande-Duchese de Gerolstein (1867), Barbe-Bleue (1866) and the three-act opéra comique Vert Vert, first performed in Paris 1869. Besides Fritz Hoffmann many others composed overtures, e.g. Carl Binder and Friedrich Lehner. Two of the overtures included here do indeed derive from Offenbach himself. The one-acter Monsieur et Madame Denis was first performed at the Bouffes-Parisiens on Januay 11, 1862. The second original overture included in the present recording is that of La Fille du tambour-major, a full-length “military operetta“ first performed at the Folies-Dramatiques in Paris on December 13, 1879.