Offenbach Mélodies

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Composer: Jacques Offenbach
Artists: Mariam Sarkissian (mezzo-soprano), Fanny Crouet (soprano), Daniel Propper (piano)

Best-known as the darling of the Parisian operetta audience, reliable facteur of hit after hit such as Orpheus in the Underworld and La vie Parisienne, would-be ‘serious’ composer who never lived to complete or see a staging of his masterpiece, Les contes d’Hoffmann, Jacques Offenbach was a composer of many parts. His practical training as a cellist of accomplishment is recognised, and his work for the instrument holds a fragile place on the fringe of its repertoire (such as the Cello Duets recorded on Brilliant Classics, 94475) but few listeners will have been aware, until now, of the composer’s work in the field of art-song.

In fact Offenbach wrote songs throughout his career but most of them belong to his late teens, not long after he had moved to the French capital and become a cellist in the orchestra of the Opéra-Comique, and thereafter as a touring cello virtuoso in his 20s. The selection made for this album by the Armenian mezzo-soprano Mariam Sarkissian ranges widely across genres, from the delicious Ronde tyrolienne (of 1838) to the drama-romance Jalousie of the following year. There is a classic German Lied, O bleib bei mir (1840), a more ambitious ballad Rends-moi mon âme (1843), and the recital ends with a self-contained comic duet, Meunière et fermière (Mrs Miller and Mrs Farmer), that Offenbach composed in 1846, at the age of 27.


00:00:00 Jalousie!
00:03:28 J’aime la reverie
00:07:43 Sérénade du torero
00:12:13 Jeanne la rousse
00:14:55 La Croix de ma mère
00:19:13 Ronde Tyrolienne
00:23:32 Rends-moi mon âme!
00:29:32 L’Etoile

00:34:12 Wenn ich ein muntres Vöglein wär
00:38:23 Was Fliesset auf dem Felde
00:41:10 O bleib bei mir

00:44:33 Doux ménestrel
00:50:01 Dors mon enfant
00:56:03 Meunière et fermière

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