In France, the income of working people in terms of what it buys (real wages) begins a four-decade decline • Because of the Tambora eruption, 1816 will be known with the year without a summer." Amid the gloom in Britain, Mary Shelley writes a scary story: "Frankenstein" • The British return to the Dutch their empire in Indonesia • Spain's military drives Simón Bolivar from New Grenada. Bolivar flees to Jamaica and then to Haiti
Bolivar and a small force return to Venezuela and establish a base inland in the rain forest along the Orinoco River • In Britain, real wages have been declining at least since the late 1790s, as Britain has been burdened by war against France. From this year on and into the next century real wages in Britain will be rising • The British sign a Maratha kingdom, Nagpur, into its system of alliances. Those opposed sack and burn the British residence at Poona (Pune). 27,000 attack a British force of 2,800 a few miles north of Poona – the beginning of the Third Anglo-Maratha War
The Third Anglo-Maratha War ends with the break-up of the Maratha Empire and the British in control of most of India • For the Ottoman Empire, Egyptians are taking control of the Arabian Peninsula. They destroy the mud-brick town of Diriyah (thirteen miles from the center of what today is Riyadh) which had been the home base of the Saud family and Wahhabis • Schopenhauer (Germany) - The World as Will and Idea
In England, 60,000 gather in a field and listen to a call for universal suffrage. A magistrate sends a force to arrest the main speaker, Henry Hunt. People riot. Eleven are killed and others injured. A movement for reform gathers strength • Théodore Géricault - The Raft of the Medusa
In England a group of revolutionaries chose a strategy of killing government cabinet ministers, believing it will trigger a massive uprising. It's to be known as the Cato Street Conspiracy. One of their number was a police agent. A few conservatives used the conspiracy as propaganda against parliamentary reform. The conspirators were tried in court and five of them were hanged and then decapitated – the last of England's decapitations • A liberal uprising begins in Spain. It starts with soldiers and is joined by others who want a constitutional monarchy or a republic. A few who are poor and illiterate attack and set fire to churches • The combined area of Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and Alabama has six times the number of people of European heritage that it had in 1800 • The US has becomes the world's biggest cotton producer of raw cotton • Per capita world Gross Domestic Product (according to today's economic historian Angus Maddison) is $667, measured in 1990 dollars. This (according to Maddison) is up from $435 in the year 1000. Western Europe, which was lower than the world in general in the year 1000, at $400, is at $1,232.
Arthur Schopenhauer (22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German philosopher. He is best known for his 1818 work The World as Will and Representation (expanded in 1844), wherein he characterizes the phenomenal world as the product of a blind and insatiable metaphysical will. Proceeding from the transcendental idealism of Immanuel Kant, Schopenhauer developed an atheistic metaphysical and ethical system that has been described as an exemplary manifestation of philosophical pessimism, rejecting the contemporaneous post-Kantian philosophies of German idealism.
Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Sonata No. 28
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No 28 in A major, Op 101
00:00 - Allegretto, ma non troppo
04:16 - Vivace alla marcia
10:29 - Adagio, ma non troppo, con affetto
13:18 - Allegro
Richard Goode, 1993
Franz Schubert: Litanei auf das Fest Aller Seelen; Stabat Mater in F minor; String Trio in B-flat major, D 471
Franz Schubert - Stabat Mater" D 383
Snezana Savicic Sekulic, soprano
Nikola Kitanovski, tenor
Stevica Krajinovic, baritone
Vesna Souc, conductor
RTS Symphony Orchestra and Choir, Belgrade
No. 1 Coro: 0:00 "Jesus Christus schwebt am Kreuze"
No. 2 Aria Sop.: 2:44 "Bei des Mittlers Kreuze standen"
No. 3 Coro: 5:21 "Liebend neiget er sein Antlitz"
No. 4 Duetto Sop. e Ten.: 7:10 "Engel freuten sich der Wonne"
No. 5 Coro: 10:34 "Wer wird Zähren"
No. 6 Aria Ten.: 13:59 "Ach, was hätten wir empfunden"
No. 7 Coro: 16:10 "Erben sollen sie am Throne"
No. 8 Aria Bass: 19:00 "Sohn des Vaters, aber leiden"
No. 9 Coro: 22:59 "O du herrlicher Vollender"
No. 10 Terzetto: 26:10 "Erdenfreuden und ihr Elend" - "Möcht ich wie auf Adlers Flügeln"
No. 11 Terzetto e Coro: 29:25 "Daß dereinst wir, wenn im Tode"
No. 12 Coro: 33:20 "Amen"
Schubert - String Trio in B-flat major, D. 471
Elita Kang, violin, Jonathan Chu, viola, and Owen Young, cello.
Schubert - Litanei auf das Fest Aller Seelen
Louis Spohr – Faust
Faust is an opera by the German composer Louis Spohr. The libretto, by Josef Karl Bernard, is based on the legend of Faust; it is not influenced by Goethe's Faust, though Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy had been published in 1808. Instead, Carl Bernard's libretto draws mainly on Faust plays and poems by Maximilian Klinger and Heinrich von Kleist. Spohr's Faust is an important work in the history of German Romantic opera.
Weber conducted the first performance of Faust at the Ständetheater, Prague on 1 September 1816. Meyerbeer introduced it at Berlin.
Louis Spohr - FAUST - Ouvertüre
Faust is torn between his love for the young Röschen and his desire for Kunigunde, the fiancée of Count Hugo. He makes a pact with the devil Mefistofeles which allows him to rescue Kunigunde from the clutches of the evil knight Gulf. Faust obtains a love potion from the witch Sycorax which he gives to Kunigunde during her wedding celebrations. Outraged at the sudden passion his bride shows for Faust, Count Hugo challenges him to a duel. Faust kills Hugo and flees. Meanwhile, Faust's first love, Röschen, drowns herself in despair. Mefistofeles seizes Faust and drags him down to Hell.
Gioachino Rossini – La gazzetta
La gazzetta, ossia Il matrimonio per concorso (The Newspaper, or The Marriage Contest) is an opera buffa by Gioachino Rossini. The libretto was by Giuseppe Palomba after Carlo Goldoni's play Il matrimonio per concorso of 1763.
Gioachino Rossini - LA GAZZETTA
Don Pomponio: GIORGIO TADEO,
Lisetta : ROSETTA PIZZO
Filippo: ANDREA SNARSKI,
Doralice : PAOLA BARBINI
Anselmo : VITO MARIA BRUNETTI,
Alberto : PIETRO BOTTAZZO
Madama La Rose : TERESA ROCCHINO,
Monsù Traversen : FRANCO FEDERICI
Orchestra Sinfonica e coro di Torino della RAI
Direttore Ferruccio Scaglia, 1977
Time: 18th century Place: Paris
The opera tells the story of a pretentious Neapolitan, Don Pomponio Storione, who travels the world in search of a husband for his daughter, putting ads in the newspapers. He arrives in a city, and after a series of ridiculously inadequate suitors, such as the Quaker Monsù Traversen or the waiter at the hotel, who usually end up beating poor Pomponio, he finally resigns to let his daughter marry her lover, the only suitor he seems to consider inappropriate.
Giacomo Meyerbeer – Gli amori di Teolinda (cantata)
Giacomo Meyerbeer - Gli Amori di Teolinda
Cantata for Soprano, Clarinet, Men's Chorus and Orchestra
Libretto by Gaetano Rossi
Nelly Miricioiu, soprano
Emma Johnson, clarinet
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra & Radio Chorus
Julian Reynolds, conductor; Vrendenburg, Utrecht, 1998
No. 1 - Introduzione (00:00)
No. 2 - Cavatina "Deliziose piante ombrose" (03:12)
No. 3 - Recitativo "Quanto un dì" (08:51)
No. 4 - [Allegro moderato] "Ah! ch'egli è desso" (11:15)
No. 5 - Coro "Chi mai non curasi" (20:05)
No. 6 - Recitativo "Quanto liete voi siete!" (23:19)
No. 7 - [Andante von variazioni] "Diceva un giorno Clori" (26:24)
No. 8 - [Allegro molto moderato] "Qual suon perfetto" (31:08) - "Ah! d'amor" (33:28)
Luigi Cherubini's cantata Inno alla primavera, commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society, is given its première in London, a year later than scheduled and without the composer present.
Luigi Cherubini – Requiem in C minor
The Requiem in C minor for mixed chorus was written by Luigi Cherubini in 1816 and premiered 21 January 1817 at a commemoration service for Louis XVI of France on the twenty-third anniversary of his beheading during the French Revolution.
Cherubini - Requiem in C minor
I. Introitus et Kyrie [0:00]
II. Graduale [7:35]
III. Sequentia: Dies irae [8:52]
IV. Domine Jesu Christe [16:46]
- Hostias [22:40]
V. Sanctus et Benedictus [29:27]
VI. Pie Jesu [30:41]
VII. Agnus Dei [34:08]
Boston Baroque - Martin Pearlman
Gaetano Donizetti - Il Pigmalione
Gaetano Donizetti - Il Pigmalione
Galatea - Susanna Rigacci
Pigmalione - Paolo Pellegrini
Conductor - Fabio Maestri - Orchestra giovanile "In Canto"
Il Pigmalione (Pygmalion) is a scena lirica (lyric scene or opera) in one act by Gaetano Donizetti. The librettist is unknown, but it is known that the libretto was based on one by Antonio Simeone Sografi for Giovanni Battista Cimador (it)'s Pimmalione (1790), in turn based on Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Pygmalion and ultimately based on Book X of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Sografi's libretto was also used for an opera by Bonifacio Asioli (1796).
This was Donizetti's first opera, written in six days between 25 September and 1 October 1816 when the composer was 19 and a student at the Bologna Academy, a position acquired for him with the help of his teacher in Bergamo, Johann Simon Mayr and where his "gift for spontaneous composition flowered". It has been noted that although the comedy is "musically slender, the score, nevertheless, reveals the fledgling composer's flair for melody".
It was not performed until 13 October 1960.
Time: The classical past
The story of the opera is based on the famous story of a king and sculptor, Pygmalion, originally taken from the tenth book of the Metamorphoses by Ovid. Pigmalione, dismayed that he may never find in real life the ideal of feminine beauty, creates a sculpture of it himself. Having fallen in love with his own creation, Pigmalione's prayer for the sculpture's (christened Galatea) animation is answered by Venus.
Étienne-Nicolas Méhul – La journée aux aventures
La journée aux aventures (The Day of Adventures) is an opera by the French composer Étienne Méhul. It takes the form of an opéra comique in three acts. It was first performed at the Opéra-Comique, Paris on 16 November 1816. The libretto is by Pierre-David-Augustin Chapelle and Louis Mezières-Miot.
Gioachino Rossini – Otello
Otello is an opera in three acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Berio di Salsi. The work is based on a French adaptation of the story, not Shakespeare's play Othello as neither Rossini nor his librettist knew the English drama.
Gioachino Rossini - Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo
"Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo" is one of the five cantatas Rossini wrote in Naples to celebrate specific events in the lives of the Bourbon monarchs of Naples and Sicily. In December, 1816, Naples was restored to the Bourbon rule after its Napoleonic domination, and Ferdinando di Borbone became King of the two Sicilies under the name Ferdinando I. He immediately began to strengthen family ties with the Bourbons of France and with the house of Austria. Ferdinando's efforts culminated in the wedding of his son Leopoldo with a daughter of Francis I, Emperor of Austria, and of his niece Maria Carolina Ferdinanda Luigia with the French prince Charles-Ferdinand, two marriages which are the main theme of this grand celebratory cantata, centering around the wedding of the title heroes, blessed in a succession of operatic numbers by Jove (tenor), Juno (contralto), Ceres (soprano).
Gioachino Rossini - Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo (1816) - "Liete danze" - No. 1. Prelude, Chorus & Cavatina (Juan Diego Florez)
Gioachino Rossini - Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo (1816) "Chi mi reca le rose ed i gigli" - No. 2. Duettino & Terzet
(Cecilia Bartoli, Daniela Barcellona, Juan Diego Florez, Luigi Petroni & Elisabetta Scano)
Gioachino Rossini - Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo (1816)
- "Egli una tenera"
Cecilia Bartoli - Ceres,
Daniela Barcellona - Juno,
Juan Diego Florez - Peleo,
Luigi Petroni - Jove,
Elisabetta Scano - Teti.
Frederic Chopin – Two Polonaises
Frederic Chopin - Polonaises
Mikhail Voskresensky, piano, 1973
no. 1 in C sharp minor op. 26 no. 1 00:07
no. 2 in E flat minor op. 26 no. 2 07:43
no. 3 in A major op. 40 no. 104 "Military" 16:17
no. 4 in C minor op. 40 no. 2 20:31
no. 5 in F sharp minor op. 44 26:25
no. 6 in A flat major op. 53 "Heroic" 36:51
no. 7 in A flat major op. 61 "Polonaise-Fantaisie" 43:40
no. 8 in D minor op. 71 no. 1 55:59
no. 9 in B flat major op. 71 no. 1:01:36
no. 10 in F minor op. 71 no. 3 1:08:39
no. 11 in G minor op. posth 1:15:11
no. 12 in B flat major op. posth 1:18:37
no. 13 in A flat major op. posth 1:21:44
no. 14 in G sharp minor op. posth 1:25:30
no. 16 in G flat major op. posth 1:34:43
Anton Reicha – Andante for Wind Quintet no. 1 in E-flat major
Anton Reicha - Andante No. 1 in E-flat Major. Puhkpillikvintett / Woodwind Quintet ESTICA:
Anna Kelder (flööt / flute),
Heli Ernits (inglissarv / English horn),
Helena Tuuling (klarnet / clarinet),
Mari Gienow (fagott / bassoon),
Meelika Mikson (metsasarv / French horn)
Franz Schubert – String Trio in B-flat major, D. 581
Franz Schubert - String trio D.581
I. Allegro moderato 0:00
II. Andante 5:05
III. Menuetto. Allegretto 11:22
IV. Rondo. Allegretto 15:12
Live recording, Hohenems, 22.VI.1988
Gioacchino Rossini – La Cenerentola
La Cenerentola, ossia La bontà in trionfo (Cinderella, or Goodness Triumphant) is an operatic dramma giocoso in two acts by Gioachino Rossini. The libretto was written by Jacopo Ferretti, based on the fairy tale Cendrillon by Charles Perrault. The opera was first performed in Rome's Teatro Valle on 25 January 1817.
Gioacchino Rossini - La Gazza Ladra
La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) is a melodramma or opera semiseria in two acts by Gioachino Rossini, with a libretto by Giovanni Gherardini based on La pie voleuse by Théodore Baudouin d'Aubigny and Louis-Charles Caigniez.
Gioacchino Rossini - Armida
Armida is an opera in three acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto (dramma per musica) by Giovanni Schmidt, based on scenes from Gerusalemme liberata by Torquato Tasso. Armida was written to be performed at the Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, on 11 November 1817
Gioacchino Rossini - Adelaide di Borgogna
Adelaide di Borgogna, ossia Ottone, re d'Italia (Adelaide of Burgundy, or Otto, King of Italy) is a two-act opera composed by Gioachino Rossini (with contributions by Michele Carafa) to a libretto by Giovanni Schmidt. It was premièred at the Teatro Argentina in Rome on 27 December 1817.
Rossini - Adelaide di Borgogna - part 1
Adelaide: Mariella Devia
Ottone: Martine Dupuy
Adelberto: Ernesto Palacio
Berengario: Armando Caforio
Conductor: Alberto Zedda
Paris, Salle Pleyel - May 1988
Rossini - Adelaide di Borgogna - part 2
Niels Gade, in full Niels Vilhelm Gade, (born February 22, 1817, Copenhagen, Denmark—died December 21, 1890, Copenhagen), Danish composer who founded the Romantic nationalist school in Danish music.
Gade studied violin and composition and became acquainted with Danish poetry and folk music. Both Mendelssohn and Schumann, who were his friends, were attracted by the Scandinavian character of his music. Schumann wrote of him in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, and in 1843 Mendelssohn conducted Gade’s first symphony in Leipzig. Gade conducted in Leipzig from 1844 to 1848 and became conductor of the Copenhagen Musical Society in 1850. In 1866 he became a director of the new Copenhagen Conservatory. Gade’s early works, reflecting the spirit of Danish folk tunes, were among the first 19th-century examples of the use of native musical idioms and nationalist themes. Under the influence of Mendelssohn, his later works show greater technical command, often at the expense of the style that had made his earlier works attractive. His compositions include the overtures Echoes from Ossian (published as Opus 1) and In the Highlands; the cantatas Zion, The Crusaders, and Psyche; eight symphonies; three ballets; a violin concerto; a string quartet; and other works.
Niels Wilhelm Gade - Symphony no. 1 in C minor op. 5 Michael Schønwandt
1. Gade - Violin concerto op.56
2. Gade - Echoes of Ossian
3. Gade - Sinfonia n. 4 Op. 20
4. Gade - Sinfonia n. 7 Op. 45
5. Gade - Sinfonia n. 8 Op. 47
Niels Gade - Elverskud
Franz Schubert – Symphony No. 6
Franz Schubert - Symphony No.6 in C-major, D.589
Mov.I: Adagio - Allegro 00:00
Mov.II: Andante 09:45
Mov.III: Scherzo: Presto 18:06
Mov.IV: Allegro moderato 24:34
Orchestra: Failoni Orchestra
Conductor: Michael Halász
Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Sonata in B flat "Hammerklavier" Op.106
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major, Op. 106 - "Hammerklavier"
8:56 Scherzo: Assai vivace
11:38 Adagio sostenuto
29:43 Introduzione: Largo...Prestissimo - Fuga: Allegro risoluto
Gioacchino Rossini – Mosè in Egitto
Mosè in Egitto (Moses in Egypt) is a three-act opera written by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola, which was based on a 1760 play by Francesco Ringhieri, L'Osiride. It premièred on 5 March 1818 at the recently reconstructed Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Italy.
Gaetano Donizetti – Enrico di Borgogna
Enrico di Borgogna (Henry of Burgundy) is an opera eroica or "heroic" opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Bartolomeo Merelli, wrote the Italian libretto based on Der Graf von Burgund by August von Kotzebue.
Enrico di Borgogna was the third opera composed by Donizetti, but the first to be performed. It premiered on 14 November 1818 at the Teatro San Luca in Venice.
Gaetano Donizetti - Enrico di Borgogna
Olof Boman (conductor), Vadstena Castle,
Sweden, August 2012
Enrico: Kinga Dobay
Pietro: Markus Pettersson
Elisa: Rebecca Rasmussen
Guido: Thomas Volle
Brunone: Ludvig Lindström
Gilberto: Christian Oldenburg
Nicola: Peter Nyqvist
Geltrude: Christina Nilsson
Act I 0:00:01
Act I finale 1:15:17
Act II 1:23:58
The king has been deceived and murdered by his own brother. The king's bodyguards, Pietro and Brunone, manage to escape with Enrico, the first-born son of the king and the rightful heir to the throne. During Pietro’s escape, his wife is killed before they can get to safety. Brunone stays in the castle, becoming the new king's bodyguard.
Time: The Middle Ages
Nicola, the young shepherd, and his friends find the old man Pietro weeping before by his wife's grave, as he has done many times. They try to cheer him up, and, after that, carry on with their work, leaving Pietro alone.
Enrico, now a young man, is on his way home from fishing; he is tired of the simple life up in the mountains and is longing for something more exiting. He is also thinking about the girl of his dreams, Elisa, whom he has seen several times in the mountains.
Brunone arrives at Pietro's cabin and tells him that the king is dead and that his weak son Guido has taken his place. He explains that this is the time to strike if they want to see Enrico installed on the throne. When Enrico arrives and learns the truth, they give him his father's sword and he decides to accept his fate.
In the castle the new king Guido and his jester Gilberto are planning Guido's marriage with Elisa, but she has just lost her father and is still mourning; she refuses to marry Guido, but he forces her to accept his proposal, and the wedding plans begin.
Scene: Day - at the court in Arles
The jester Gilberto speaking to Guido says that truth and merit are overrated. Guido asks the jester to tell him what the people think of him becoming their king. Gilberto flatters him, but Guido is not satisfied until he learns that some of the people are complaining.
Elisa enters in the company of Guido's bodyguards who invites her to rejoice in the happiness of marriage. Elisha is unhappy. She hope to see Enrico again. When she is left alone with her lady in waiting, Geltrude, she confesses to her of her love. Guido forces Elizabeth to change her mourning clothes into the wedding attire and appeals to her to give in to his great love for her. She replies that he can force her into marriage but her heart will never change.
Scene: Evening – in the square
The wedding procession has gathered in the square. Enrico and Pietro arrive and are unaware of the wedding. Elisa faints. Pietro and Brunone furiously try to stop Enrico’s jealousy from revealing himself as her true love. A heavy storm occurs, and Guido is forced to postpone the wedding.
Scene: Night - at the castle
Brunone and Pietro reveal to the insurgents that Enrico has returned. Enrico has slipped into the castle to see Elisa for the last time. Enrico meets jester Gilberto who at the last moment hides him from Guido. Gilberto promises to show Enrico to Elisa's room.
Elisa enters. Guido is threatening her with death if she did not keep her promise of marriage. The threat is ineffective because she would rather die than marry Guido. Guido gives the order for the wedding and leaves the room. Gilberto shows Enrico to Elisa's room with the warning that women are in the world to create disorder.
Enrico and Elisa meet. At first, he rejects her declaration that she was forced into marriage with Guido. When he learns about her promise to her father, he understands everything and the two reunite. Guido rushes into the room. At the same time Brunone, Pietro and Nicola entered the castle. The truth about Enrico's birth is revealed to Guido and Elisa. Guido orders the confused guards to arrest the four but the guards put down their weapons and Enrico wins.
Scene: Daybreak - at the castle
Guido is terrified. People storms in and want to take revenge on Guido, but Enrico admonishes his people with a message of peace.
Gioacchino Rossini – Ricciardo e Zoraide
Ricciardo e Zoraide (Ricciardo and Zoraide) is an opera in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Francesco Berio di Salsa. The text is based on cantos XIV and XV of Il Ricciardetto, an epic poem by Niccolò Forteguerri.
Rossini - Ricciardo e Zoraide
Place: the city of Dongola in ancient Nubia.
Time: The time of the Crusades
The Nubian King Agorante, who is infatuated with Zoraide, has defeated her father, Ircano and captured her. Ricciardo, a Christian knight and Zoraide's lover, accompanies an emissary to plead for her release. Agorante's jealous wife, Zomira, arranges the capture of Ricciardo as well and plots to have the young lovers executed to protect her position as Queen. The opera ends with an army of Christian knights rescuing Ricciardo and Zoraide. Ricciardo spares Agorante's life.
(b. Paris, June 17, 1818; d. Saint-Cloud, October 18, 1893)
French composer, best known for his opera Faust (1859), which became one of the most popular works in the repertoire. His father was a highly regarded painter and engraver, and his mother was an accomplished pianist; the talents of both rubbed off on Charles, who early on showed gifts for music and drawing. He studied privately with Antoine Reicha, and then at the Paris Conservatoire with Ferdinando Paer, Jean-Frangois Le Sueur, and Fromental Halevy, and won the Prix de Rome in 1839. Gounod adored Italy and immersed himself in the study of Renaissance polyphony, especially the music of Palestrina, which he echoed in a pair of early masses written in 1841 and 1843. While in Rome he met Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel; on his way back to Paris he stopped in Leipzig to visit Felix Mendelssohn, whose music and character left an indelible impression. In 1843, Gounod became music director at the Seminaire des Missions Etrangeres in Paris. In 1847 he began to study for the priesthood, a course he abandoned after a few months. He married in 1851 and played an active role in Parisian musical life during the following decade. Opera was still at the center of the compositional scene, and Gounod quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with. His first effort, Sapho (1851), received only four performances in spite of having the great Pauline Viardot in its title role. This was followed by La nonne sanglante (1854) and Le medecin malgre lui (1858), whose libretto, after Moliere, was provided by the team of Jules Barbier and Michel Carre. The same partnership had already supplied Gounod with the libretto for Faust; which after a slow start met with extraordinary success, catapulting its composer to international prominence. Faust richly earned its popularity. A work of enormous accomplishment—colorful, engaging, and tuneful, if not very deep dramatically—it demonstrated a mastery of all the cliches of French grand opera and achieved a remarkable scenic splendor. Gounod never again managed
anything quite as magnificent, though his Romeo et Juliette (1867) came close.
Fatigued by the labor he expended on the 12 operas he wrote (notwithstanding the fame and wealth they brought), Gounod felt the need to turn periodically to sacred music as a restorative. His production in that area was substantial, and included 21 masses, three oratorios, and numerous cantatas, motets, and informal settings of sentimental religious texts. In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War, Gounod fled to London. The English, with their strong choral tradition, loved his religious music, and he stayed in Britain for nearly four years, becoming the first conductor of the Royal Albert Hall Choral Society.
In addition to works for the stage and sacred music, Gounod wrote some piano pieces, many songs, and a small amount of chamber music. One of his piano pieces, the “Funeral March of a Marionette” (1872), became well known as the theme music for television’s Alfred Hitchcock Presents. And while Faust is more famous, Gounod’s most widely performed creation is the little melodie religieuse “Ave Maria” that he arranged in 1859, based on Bach’s C major prelude from Book I of Das wohltem-perirte Clavier. Because of music like this, many of Gounod’s younger contemporaries looked down on him as bourgeois. But, as even the hypercritical Debussy had to admit, Gounod represented an era in French art, and the accomplishment of works such as Faust and Romeo et Juliette provided an important bulwark against the encroachments of Wagnerism.
Mireille is an 1864 opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Michel Carré after Frédéric Mistral's poem Mireio.
Charles Gounod - MIREILLE (1864)
Time: 19th Century
A mulberry grove on Midsummer night (Fête de la Saint-Jean).
Girls sing as they pick the leaves to feed to silkworms. Taven, an old woman who lives in nearby caves, joins them and comments on their jollity, but they laugh at "the witch" and Clemence voices her wish for a rich husband. Mireille however wants to marry for love, even if her husband be poor and shy, but is teased by the other girls who know that she has set her heart on a poor basket-weaver, Vincent. Taven shares her forebodings with Mireille. Vincent passes by and Mireille gets him to confess his love. As they part, they swear to meet in the church of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer if anything befalls one of them. The girls are heard singing the opening chorus in the distance.
In front of the Arles Amphitheatre the same afternoon.
The crowd is singing and dancing a farandole as it waits for the start of a race. Mireille and Vincent arrive separately but they are greeted joyfully and sing the Song of Magali. After the race, Taven takes Mireille aside and tells her that she has just seen three young men, Ourrias, Alari and Pascoul arguing who should claim Mireille's hand. Alone, Mireille swears that nothing will part her from Vincent. Ourrias enters and forces his boastful attentions on her but Mireille politely rejects his advances. Mireille's father Ramon enters, followed shortly by Ambroise, the father of Vincent. Ambroise asks for advice on what to do about his son who is in love with a rich heiress; Ramon suggests beating the boy to cure him. Shocked, Ambroise is reminded by Ramon of a father's prerogative which used to extend even to life and death over his children. At this, Mireille comes forward crying "Kill me!" - she is the one Vincent loves. Ramon is outraged, orders Mireille to go home then turns on Vincent and Ambroise.
First Tableau: The Val d'Enfer in the country outside Arles. Night
Ourrias and some friends are in the wild spot, supposedly peopled by spirits. Ourrias wants to buy a potion from Taven. Alone, Ourrias vents his fury and jealousy and lies in wait for Vincent, who soon appears. Ourrias insults him but although Vincent tries to calm him down, Ourrias strikes him with his trident, and thinking he has killed him, runs off. Taven hears cries and curses Ourrias as he rushes off, then tends to the unconscious Vincent.
Second Tableau: The banks of the Rhône
Full of remorse, Ourrias hurries to the river bank and calls the ferryman. An echo greets his call and moans sound with ghosts floating above the water. The ferryman (Passeur) arrives and Ourrias impatiently gets aboard. The waters swell, and as the boatman reminds Ourrias of his crime, the boat sinks beneath the waves.
First Tableau: Ramon's farm late the same night
While the harvesters celebrate, Ramon is sad and knows that by denying Mireille's love he has destroyed his dream of a happy old age. From her window Mireille sees a young shepherd singing, and envies his carefree life. Unseen, Vincenette, Vincent's sister, comes to tell her that Vincent is wounded: Mireille resolves to set off at once to Saintes-Maries.
Second Tableau: The Crau desert
Mireille, staggers in already tired, and dazzled by the sun, faints as she hears shepherd's pipes in the distance. She makes a last effort to continue her journey.
In front of the chapel of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. Midday
Pilgrims are singing. Vincent is there, looking for Mireille, and she arrives, exhausted and collapses in his arms. Ramon arrives with Vincenette, and forgives her, but Mireille dies and is called to heaven by a celestial voice.
Roméo et Juliette (Romeo and Juliet) is an opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, based on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. It was first performed at the Théâtre Lyrique, Paris on 27 April 1867.
Charles Gounod - MORS ET VITA (1884)
Charles Gounod - REQUIEM IN C DUR (1893)
Franz Schubert – Trout Quintet
Franz Schubert - Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667, "Trout"
Martin Helmchen (piano), Christian Tetzlaff (violin), Antoine Tamestit (viola), Marie-Elisabeth Hecker (cello), Alois Posch (double bass)
00:00 - I. Allegro vivace
13:28 - II. Andante
20:19 - III. Scherzo. Presto
24:29 - IV. Theme and Variations (on the song "Die Forelle"). Andantino
31:58 - V. Finale. Allegro giusto
Gioachino Rossini - Ermione
Ermione is a tragic opera (azione tragica) in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola, based on the play Andromaque by Jean Racine.
Franz von Suppé, composer, born.
Gioachino Rossini - Eduardo e Cristina
Eduardo e Cristina is an operatic 'dramma' in two acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto originally written by Giovanni Schmidt for Odoardo e Cristina (1810), an opera by Stefano Pavesi, and adapted for Rossini by Andrea Leone Tottola and Gherardo Bevilacqua-Aldobrandini.
Rossini - Eduardo e Cristina - "Arresta il colpo"
London 2015 St John's smith Square
Orchestra - EUYO
Conductor Ainars Rubikis
Soprano - Elsa Galasio
Carlo, King of Sweden tenor
Cristina, his daughter, secret wife of Eduardo soprano
Eduardo, general of the Swedish army contralto
Giacomo, royal prince of Scotland bass
Atlei, captain of the guard, friend of Eduardo bass
Gustavo, small child of Eduardo and Cristina
Time: "The distant past"
Eduardo, commander of the Swedish army, brings news of peace and is greeted triumphantly by King Carlo in Stockholm. That same day, the king announces that his daughter, Cristina, is to be married to Prince Giacomo of Scotland. Cristina, however, is already secretly Eduardo’s wife, and together they have a young son, Gustavo. Christina makes plans to escape, but during the wedding preparations little Gustavo is discovered. Cristina proclaims herself his mother, though she will not reveal the father’s name. When Eduardo appears, he reveals himself to be the boy’s father, and the illicit couple are led off to prison. Cristina continues to refuse a proposal of marriage to Giacomo, even though he has agreed to recognize Gustavo as his own son. Eventually Eduardo is freed by his friend and comrade in arms, Captain Atlei, and together they defeat a surprise attack by the Russians. After the battle, Eduardo hands his sword to King Carlo who, touched, forgives the couple and grants them his blessing.
Gioachino Rossini - La donna del lago
La donna del lago (The Lady of the Lake) is an opera composed by Gioachino Rossini with a libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola based on the French translation of The Lady of the Lake, a narrative poem written in 1810 by Sir Walter Scot.
Gioachino Rossini - Bianca e Falliero
Bianca e Falliero, ossia Il consiglio dei tre (Bianca and Falliero, or The Counsel of Three) is a two-act operatic melodramma by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Felice Romani. The libretto was based on Antoine-Vincent Arnault's play Les Vénitiens, ou Blanche et Montcassin.
ROSSINI - BIANCA E FALLIERO
Bianca............ Katia Ricciarelli
Falliero........... Marilyn Horne
Contareno...... Chris Merritt
Priuli............... Ambrogio Riva
Capellio........... Giorgio Surjan
Costanza......... Patrizia Orciani
Pisani.............. Ernesto Gavazzi
Ufficiale.......... Diego D’Auria
Usciere............ Diego D’Auria
The London Sinfonietta Opera Orchestra
Donato Renzetti - August 1986
Bianca e Falliero is a tale of emotional excess and bitter strife within war-threatened Venice. Falliero, the hero, comes home after defeating the enemies of Venice only to find his beloved Bianca promised to a rival and soon to be married.
Time: 17th Century
Contareno offers his daughter Bianca in marriage to Capellio, a member of a rival clan, in an act of conciliation meant to end a long-standing family feud. Bianca, however, loves Falliero, rumoured to have recently died defending Venice from a military threat. She sings of her love for the young general in the cavatina Della rosa il bel vermiglio. When Falliero returns from the war and Bianca rebels against her father's plan for her, Contareno threatens to ruin Falliero. The wedding ceremony begins, but Bianca refuses to marry Capellio by not signing the marriage certificate. Falliero bursts onto the scene.
Falliero is forced to run from the scene of the wedding to escape the wrath of Bianca's father. Bianca again refuses to continue the ceremony. News arrives that Falliero has been captured and must stand trial for treason, allegedly for his contacts with a foreign power because he was found hiding in the Spanish Embassy. Unfortunately for him, his judges are to be the Council of Three: Contareno, Capellio and Loredano. Although Falliero does not defend his actions, Bianca passionately argues on his behalf. Eventually, Bianca's impassioned pleas convince Capellio that the two lovers belong together. All ends happily.
Franz von Suppé
(b. Spalato, Dalmatia, April 18, 1819; d. Vienna, May 21, 1895)
Austrian composer of Belgian descent.
As a youth he spent time in Italy, where he heard the operas of Rossini and Donizetti (who was a distant relative). In 1835, following the death of his father, he settled in Vienna. He began his career in 1840 as a conductor at the Theater in der Josefs tad t, becoming music director at the prestigious Theater an der Wien in 1845. In 1862 he moved to the Kaitheater, and from 1865 to 1882 he served as music director of the Carltheater.
Suppe was the first Viennese composer to absorb the musical influence of Offenbach, and during the 1860s, he became the founder of a new school of operetta in the Hapsburg capital. One of his greatest successes was the “military operetta” Die leichte Kavallerie (The Light Cavalry), premiered in 1866 at the Carltheater. The work is best known for its overture, a dashing and imaginative tone poem with a Hungarian accent and a jaunty cavalry march as its second subject.
Other of Suppe’s works whose overtures (at least) remain in the orchestral repertoire are Ein Morgen, Mittagund Abend in Wien (Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna,; 1844), Dichter und Bauer (Poet and Peasant, 1846), Die schone Galathee (TheBeautiful Galatea', 1865), and Boccaccio (1879).
FRANZ VON SUPPÉ - OVERTURES
1. Light Cavalry (0:06)
2. Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna (Emanuel Brabec, solo cello) (6:01)
3. Pique Dame (13:42)
4. Poet and Paesant (Emanuel Brabec, solo cello) (20:54)
VIENNA PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
conducted by SIR GEORG SOLTI, 1959
Franz von Suppé - Boccaccio (Overture)
Franz Von Suppé - Banditenstreiche Overture
Franz von Suppé - Tricoche et Cacolet Overture
Franz von Suppé - Die schöne Galathee - Overture
Stanisław Moniuszko, the composer, conductor and teacher, was born in Ubiel near Minsk on 5 May 1819 and died on 4 June 1872 in Warsaw.
Following a short spell of home education with his mother, Elżbieta, Moniuszko started to learn piano with August Freyer in Warsaw in 1827, to continue with Dominik Stefanowicz in Minsk from 1830. While staying in Vilnius in 1839, Moniuszko met his wife-to-be, Aleksandra Mueller. In 1837 Moniuszko left for Berlin, where he took private instruction in harmony, counterpoint, instrumentation and conducting with Carl Friedrich Rungenhagen, the director of the Singakademie Music Society. Meanwhile Moniuszko practised, conducted choirs, accompanied singers, studied the great operatic, oratorio and symphonic repertoires and investigated the pre-staging process as well as conducting technique, and took part in rehearsals carried out by Rungehagen and by Gaspar Spontini, who visited Berlin at the time.
Having spent three years in Berlin, Moniuszko returned to Poland in 1840 to marry Aleksandra Mueller and settle down in Vilnius, where he took the organist's position at St John's. Moniuszko contributed greatly to the local revival of music. Though short-lived, the choir which he had put together at St John's, supported by an ad hoc assembled orchestra, performed Mozart's Requiem as well as Haydn's Creation of the World, parts of Haydn's oratories and Mendelssohns's St Paul. There were also orchestral performances of works by Spontini, Mendelssohn and Beethoven. In the meantime Moniuszko travelled to St Petersburg to introduce its audiences to his own compositions. They were received with acclaim and had favourable reviews. The trips helped Moniuszko to make friends with Russia's leading composers and musicians, including Mikhail Glinka, Alexandr Dargomyzhskiy, Cesar Cui, and Alexandr Sierov.
In 1848 Vilnius saw the premiere staging of the first, two-act version of Moniuszko's opera Halka, conducted by the composer himself. Six years later, with the help of Achilles Bonoldi, Moniuszko established St Cecilia's Society, its amateur members giving two public concerts twice a year. Following the triumphant Warsaw premiere of the new, four-act version of Halka on 1st January 1858, Moniuszko embarked on a artistic trip to Germany and France to return and be appointed the first conducted of the Polish Opera at the Teatr Wielki (Grand Theatre) in Warsaw on 1st August 1858. The same year Moniuszko put on his one-act opera Flis, followed by the stagings of all of his subsequent operas over his fifteen-year term. Moniuszko's conducting projects focused almost exclusively on his own compositions, the key few exceptions being HaydÉe and Le Cheval de Bronze, the operas by Daniel François Esprit Auber. From time to time he would also conduct Warsaw church choirs, such as when he staged Felix Mendelssohns's oratorio Elijah in a protestant temple, and would appear as a conductor at the annual composer concerts.
In 1862 Moniuszko went to Paris again, hoping to have one of his operas staged there, but it never happened. The difficult political situation at the time and after the 1863 January Rising was not conducive to practising art, and Moniuszko's composing pace slowed down. However, the 1865 staging of his opera Straszny dwor was received enthusiastically, its success comaparable to that of Halka's. The year before the composer launched a series of lectures in harmony, counterpoint and composition, and led a choir group at the Institute of Music of the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. Among Moniuszko's students were Zygmunt Noskowski and Henryk Jarecki.
Moniuszko died of a sudden heart attack and was buried at the Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw, his burial ceremony becoming a national event and a demonstration of Polishness.
Stanisław Moniuszko - Songs and ballads.
singer: Piotr Hruszwicki ( bass) / pianist: Anna Liszewska.
1.(00:07) Gałązka rówienniczka (słowa nieznanego autora)
2. (01:47) Dąbrowa (Jan Czeczot)
3. (04:45) Latem brzózka mała z liściem rozmawiała (Jan Czeczot)
4. (06:28) Złota rybka (Jan Zachariasiewicz)
5. (08:49) Trzech Budrysów (Adam Mickiewicz)
6. (16:30) Dumka (opracowanie na fortepian solo: Jan Łusakowski)
7. (19:03) Prząśniczka (Jan Czeczot)
8. (20:30) Niedźwiadek (Jan Czeczot)
9. (22:22) Kozak (Jan Czeczot)
10. (26:35) Walc (es-moll, fort. solo)
11. (30:45) Chochlik (Antoni Edward Odyniec)
12. (33:34) Święty Piotr ( Pierre-Jean de Béranger, przekł. Władysław Syrokomla)
13. (36:46) Dziad i baba (Józef Ignacy Kraszewski)
14. (42:05) Dlaczego? (autor słów nieznany)
15. (45:44) Villanella (Des-dur, fort.solo)
16. (50:14) Dwie zorze (Teofil Lenartowicz)
17. (52:30) Matko, już nie ma Cię! (Victor Hugo, przekł. Maksymilian Radziszewski)
18. (56:27) Entuzjasta (Jan Prusinowski)
19. (58:23) Dobranoc (Stanisław Jachowicz)
Halka is an opera by Polish composer Stanisław Moniuszko to a libretto written by Włodzimierz Wolski, a young Warsaw poet with radical social views. It is part of the canon of Polish national operas.
Stanisław Moniuszko - "Halka"
Halka - Barbara Zagórzanka
Jontek - Wieslaw Ochman
Janusz - Andrzej Hiolski
Stolnik - Jerzy Ostapiuk
Zofia - Ryszarda Racewicz
Orchestra and Chorus of the Polish National Opera Warsaw
Robert Satanowski, conductor
Guests at an engagement party are happy to note that the wedding of Janusz, a wealthy young landowner, to Zofia, the daughter of an even wealthier landowner named Stolnik, will unite two huge estates. Zofia and Janusz celebrate a toast with Stolnik, and Stolnik calls Janusz the son he has always wanted. The party is disturbed by a plaintive wailing from outside. It seems to be a troubled young girl, crying for her lost love. The kind-hearted Zofia asks Janusz to talk to the girl, hoping he will comfort her; he reluctantly agrees.
Dziemba, the steward of Stolnik's estate, ushers in the woebegone creature. This is Halka. To the audience's surprise, she appears to know Janusz. It turns out that he himself is her lost love; he promised her marriage while in her village in the mountains but then disappeared. As soon as Halka looks into Janusz's eyes, she is convinced that his feelings for her haven't changed, despite the disquieting rumours she had heard to the contrary. Halka throws her arms around Janusz and he says that he still loves her as he did before. He tells Halka to meet him after dark at the statue of the Virgin Mary by the river; they will escape together to start a new life somewhere else. Once Halka goes out, Janusz returns to the party.
Halka is waiting for Janusz by the river. She is disturbed by the appearance of not Janusz, but Jontek, a friend from her mountain village. Jontek has been in (unrequited) love with Halka for many years. Halka tells him happily that Janusz still loves her, but Jontek insists that she has been betrayed. Jontek can't convince Halka until he drags her to the scene of the party, where she sees that Janusz has become engaged to Zofia. Halka is devastated and compares herself to a dove who has been ripped to pieces by a falcon.
Act 3 opens with happy scenes of normal life back in Halka's mountain village. The villagers are dismayed by the arrival of Jontek and an unrecognisable woman, who turns out to be the saddened Halka. They are angry when they hear about Janusz's engagement and even angrier when they realise that Halka is pregnant. Halka is in a world of her own, crushed by grief and fixated on the images of the dove being broken by the falcon. A black raven passes overhead, boding ill for everyone.
Jontek is very sad about Halka. When a piper, in the village to play at the wedding of Janusz and Zofia, appears playing a happy tune, Jontek asks him what there is to be so happy about. The piper mollifies him by playing a haunting mountain song. Jontek describes his love for Halka and the many wonders of nature she reminds him of.
When Janusz and Zofia arrive in the village to celebrate their wedding, the angry villagers have to be convinced to act festive by Dziemba, the steward, who persuades them to do so out of respect for the bride. Zofia notices that Halka is terribly upset. She thinks she has seen Halka somewhere before, and even asks her what's wrong. Janusz admits that Halka is the girl who interrupted their engagement party but whisks Zofia into the church before she can ask any more questions. Halka is heartbroken to see that Janusz is going through with the marriage. She has lost her baby and feels completely alone. In a fit of rage, she decides to burn down the church. However, she decides to let Janusz live and throws herself into the river instead.
The Haunted Manor (Polish: Straszny dwór) is an opera in four acts composed by Polish composer Stanisław Moniuszko in 1861–1864. The libretto was written by Jan Chęciński
Stanisław Moniuszko - Straszny Dwór (1864/65)
Miecznik: Andrzej Hiolski
Hanna: Bożena Bentley-Sieradzka
Jadwiga: Wiera Baniewicz
Damazy: Zdzisław Nikodem
Stefan: Wiesław Ochman
Zbigniew: Leonard Mróz
Cześnikowa: Aleksandra Imalska
Maciej: Florian Skulski
Skołuba: Andrzej Saciuk
Marta: Anna Witkowska
Grześ: Kazimierz Dłuha
Staruszka: Anna Witkowska
conductor: Jan Krenz - Chór i Orkiestra Krakowie
The two brothers Stefan and Zbigniew and their servant Maciej are returning home from war. While enjoying a parting drink with their comrades, the brothers swear to remain single and to live in a household free of women, in order to be ready to lay down their lives for their country when needed. "For if I married a lovely woman, how could I leave her to go to war?"
On arriving at the family home, the brothers are given the traditional welcoming offering of bread and salt, and they look forward to a life of peace and tranquillity. Their dream is soon shattered by the arrival of their aunt Czesnikowa, who immediately unveils her plans to marry them off to two girls she has chosen for them. The brothers explain their vow, and inform her that they are off to visit an old friend of their father's, Miecznik, (the “sword bearer”) to collect money due to them.
Miecznik lives in a manor at Kalinow, and he has two daughters with whom Czesnikowa is sure the brothers will fall in love, contrary to her own plans. She tries to put them off their visit by telling them that the manor is haunted.
It is New Year's Eve and, inside the “haunted” manor, Miecznik's daughters Hanna and Jadwiga are preparing for the customary fortune-telling to determine who will be their future husbands. Wax is melted, and they see the shapes of soldiers' helmets, pikes and chargers. Hanna is being courted by a foppish barrister, Damazy, who insists that he can see his wig and tail coat in the wax. Miecznik looks on indulgently and then explains to the assembled crowd that the type of husband he seeks for his daughters is brave, a soldier and a patriot, mindful of customs and traditions — a description that Damazy does not measure up to.
Czesnikowa arrives in advance of Stefan and Zbigniew, with the intention of portraying them as cowards in order to put Miecznik and his daughters off. At that moment, a hunting party led by Skoluba bursts in, and a heated debate concerning the killing of a boar ensues. Skoluba is adamant that he killed it, but it transpires that two strangers and their servant were seen at the time of the shooting and that one of the strangers actually shot the boar. Stefan and Zbigniew arrive with Maciej, and the two sisters decide to test out what Czesnikowa has told them by playing a trick on the brothers. Damazy, anxious to eliminate his rivals, has the same idea and involves Skoluba, who had hoped to take credit for killing the boar and now resents the brothers' presence, in his plan.
It is night. The visitors retire to bed, the brothers in one room and Maciej in another, where Skoluba points out two life-size portraits of fine ladies, and a clock, all of which have magic properties. In an aria with a splendid triple-time melody, he successfully manages to scare Maciej out of his wits, and then he leaves him alone.
Stefan and Zbigniew arrive and merely laugh at Maciej's superstitious fears. Zbigniew takes Maciej off to sleep, leaving Stefan alone. The clock mysteriously chimes and Stefan is reminded of his mother. Zbigniew, unable to sleep, joins him and the brothers admit to each other that they have fallen in love with Hanna and Jadwiga, despite their vows. They are completely unaware that the two girls are hiding behind the portraits, and that Damazy is in the clock. They decide to investigate the source of the strange sounds they hear. Damazy comes out from his hiding place and, to save his skin, invents a story (told to another fine tune) that the house is known as the `Haunted Manor' as a result of it having been built with the proceeds of some infamous acts. The rather moralistic brothers decide they cannot stay, and make plans to leave straight away.
Discovering the boys about to leave, Miecznik believes them to be cowards after all; but Maciej repeats Damazy's story. Miecznik is about to reveal the truth about his house when a party of revellers and dancers burst into the house, one of whom is Damazy in disguise. When confronted, Damazy explains that he is in love with Hanna, and leaves hurriedly.
Miecznik then explains that his great-grandfather had nine beautiful daughters and that every man who came to the manor would propose to one of them. Envious mothers with unmarried daughters who lived nearby grew to refer to the manor as “haunted” as it obviously had magic powers. Stefan and Zbigniew apologise for their suspicions, and declare their love for Hanna and Jadwiga. Miecznik gives his blessing to his daughters and the brothers. Everyone is happy — except for the schemers Czesnikowa, Damazy, and Skoluba.
(b. Cologne, June 20, 1819; d. Paris, October 5, 1880)
German/French composer. His father, a bookbinder, was a capable musician and served as cantor at a synagogue in Cologne. Jacob first studied violin, then took up the cello at the age of nine so he could play in a trio with his older brother and sister. In 1833 he enrolled as a cello student at the Paris Conservatoire; from then on he was known as Jacques. A year later he joined the orchestra of the Opera-Comique, spending four years in the pit while continuing his cello studies privately and receiving some lessons in composition from Fromental Halevy. During the 1840s he made his way as a virtuoso cellist, playing in Parisian salons, touring to London, and Jacques Offenbach, comic master, cancan composer triumphantly returning to his hometown to perform with Franz Liszt.
In 1855, having had little success getting his stage works accepted for performance at Parisian theaters, he went into business for himself, opening a theater called the Bouffes-Parisiens in rented space. Presenting his own works as well as those of others, he brought forth a series of hits, capped in 1858 by the triumphant premiere of his two-act comedy Orphee aux enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld). By the 1860s his fame as a composer of light opera had spread to Vienna and London. Keeping up a furious pace, penning three or four works a year, he achieved his greatest success in the genre with La belle Helene (1864), La vie parisienne (1866), and La Grande-Duchesse de Gerolstein (1867).
Offenbach’s production declined during the 1870s, even as his fame grew. In 1876 he embarked on a lengthy tour of the U.S., conducting performances of La vie parisienne and giving concerts in New York and Philadelphia. He spent the final years of his life working on the “opera fantastique” Les contes d’Hoffmann. With this score Offenbach surprisingly eclipsed his own reputation as a composer of operetta. Posthumously premiered in 1881, it has become one of the most successful of all French operas, performed more frequently than any other save Carmen.
Few composers in history have fit the times in which they lived as neatly as Offenbach. Wherever there was vanity, frivolity, or immorality in the Second Empire, he found it and set it to music, with every bit as much wit and imagination as Honore Daumier and Gustave Dore showed in their art.
Orphée aux enfers, whose title translates from the French as Orpheus in the Underworld, is an opéra bouffe (a form of operetta), or opéra féerie in its revised version. Its score was composed by Jacques Offenbach to a French text written by Ludovic Halévy and later revised by Hector-Jonathan Crémieux.
La belle Hélène (The Beautiful Helen), is an opéra bouffe in three acts by Jacques Offenbach to an original French libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. The operetta parodies the story of Helen's elopement with Paris, which set off the Trojan War.