Challenge
Frère Jacques - Round about Offenbach
Gianluigi Trovesi, Gianni Coscia

Frère Jacques - Round about Offenbach

CD | ECM | 0602527811352 | ECM 2781135 | 10-11

€ 19.95 Add to cart
About the album

This is the third album in a series of Gianluigi Trovesi and Gianni Coscia, following on from “In Cerca di cibo” and “Round About Weill”, discs which honoured respectively Milanese composer Fiorenzo Carpi and Kurt Weill with affectionate, free and witty reinterpretations. They now travel, by the scenic route, “Round about Offenbach”. Their composed and improvised responses to Offenbach revolve around their arrangements of his works including selections from “La Belle Hélène”, “La Périchole”, “La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein”, and “Les Contes d’Hoffmann”.

Offenbach, French composer of German origin (born in Cologne in 1819) wrote some of the 19th century’s most effervescent music, with a sly disregard for highbrow tastes, largely unconcerned whether his work was regarded as high art, certainly unafraid of frivolity. He gleefully parodied Wagner and other cultural icons in ingenious music that could be beautiful and highly satirical by turns, frequently playing with levels and degrees of “seriousness” and “sincerity”. But craftsmanship was a given: his pieces were always meticulously made, as even opponents were forced to allow. Debussy, through gritted teeth, called Offenbach “a gifted musician who hated music.”

As a popular composer who remained an outsider, rarely fêted by the critics, he holds a particular appeal for Trovesi and Coscia, who have a long history of siding with cultural anti-heroes, in particular happily waving banners for exponents of art forms alleged to be “minor” – in this case, the operetta. For Gianluigi and Gianni, Offenbach’s a comrade, a soul brother, “Frère Jacques.”


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