What is Devo's most successful song

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On the clothesline: Offenbachs The beautiful Lurette and the one-act play Pomme d’Api and Sur un volcan Relief and cpo: A certain enthusiasm for old radio plays is an advantage if you take the complete recording of Offenbach's three-act Opéra-comique, which was made in December 1958 at the Leipzig station and broadcast on February 8 of the following year by the GDR radio Belle Lurette, which of course in German as The beautiful Lurette sounded (Relief 2 CD CR 2005). You have to come to terms with it and quickly get used to the fact that a narrator leads you through the story of the laundress Lurette, whom the Duke of Marly only marries in order to follow his aunt's wishes. Thanks to Lurette's art of seduction, real love grows from the practical arrangement. You also get used to the somewhat bustling, frightened tone of the ensemble scenes, which are supposed to imagine full life, as their comfort is reminiscent of an operetta tradition that I saw a few times in the post-reunification period - also in the case of Offenbach Madame Favart - experienced in the Metropoltheater. That is not wrong, and the mono recording has enough clarity and presence to keep you perky. The singers that Matthias Käther introduces in his text, which illuminates the circumstances in detail, are all unknown to me. Also Lutz Jahoda, who was highlighted by Käther as Hofmeister Malicorne and who was with The wish mailbox should become a popular GDR moderator. Hella Jansen and Frank Folker as Lurette and Duke of Marly came from the Metropoltheater and from the Komische Oper, both hit a right, often charming, sparkling operetta tone that I tend to agree with The beggar student than would connect with Offenbach.

This is all the more noticeable because on the second CD there are excerpts from the French radio production from 1965, which were created under Roger Albin with such tried and tested forces as Lina Dachary, Michel Lamel and Jospeh Peyron. Although the French are ahead here, Gottfried Kassowitz, who comes as a guest from Vienna, succeeds in setting musical punchlines in Leipzig, he should have taken on the well-known number "Ce fut a Londres" with pleasure, where the beautiful blue Danube flows into the His sloshes and Malicorne and Marceline (Jahoda and Jola Siegl) rumble about their parents' love, "There was the Danube, the Danube so blue". Malicorne's couplet de la statistique, Lurettes Rondos, their romance and song, the couplet of the singer Campistrel (Wilhelm Klemm), Marceline's couplet from supper, etc. - these are pieces as neatly lined up as Lurette's laundry on the clothesline.

But how did the laundress get to Leipzig? Matthias Käther describes Leipzig as the starting point for the early "Offenbach renaissance of the GDR". “Under the leadership of opera director Heinrich Voigt and arranger Walter Zimmer, rarities like this ran here The Princess of Trebizond, Parisian perfume and Madame Favart“. At the one completed by Leo Delibes and premiered a few weeks after Offenbach's death on October 30, 1880 at the Théâtre de la Renaissance Belle Lurette was possibly interested in the “proletarian” milieu of the laundresses and the rebelliously self-confident title heroine. In any case, there was a small one Lurette-Series: In 1959 a cross-section was made with Ingeborg Wengler, Irmgard Arnold and Martin Ritzmann (under Ernst Sasse), followed in 1960 by the most successful operetta film in the GDR.


The red-cheeked applePomme d'api, is one of the rosiest fruits among Offenbach's one-act plays. It is known from the EMI recording under Manuel Rosenthal, who is now closely on the trail of a new recording under Michael Alexander Willens, where the Cologne Academy is giving the blessing of Offenbach's native city. The plot and the back and forth about Rebastens the reindeer, his nephew Gustave and his lover are irrelevant. Like in Don Pasquale The lover creeps in as the new housekeeper Cathérine at Rabastens', which leads to the masterpiece in the middle of the eight-numbered score, the trio du grill "Va donc, va donc chercher le grill". Magali Léger, Florian Laconi, Marc Barrad do it excellently. Without exciting voices, but accurate and nimble, with a feather-light, swift word-tone precision that quickly caught. takes. The second piece of the cpo-Admission (555 268-2) Even Heiko Schon, who briefly sums up all the content in “Jacques Offenbach - Master of Pleasure”, cannot help. But Jean-Christophe Keck delivers in the supplement Sur un volcan detailed results of his research and identifies Offenbach as the arranger and instrumentator of the recently rediscovered Comédie à ariettes in one act, which was only performed once on December 29, 1855, in which two French officers, “Nous sommes à Dublin à 1806”, so to speak sitting on a powder keg and competing for an actress: "He brought order to the score, which actually comes from the pen of Ernest L 'Épines". Seven numbers, just 30 minutes long, including short couplets, a duet, a trio and a finale are the result. Rolf Fath


In the anniversary year 2019 a whole CD with coloratura arias by the operetta inventor Jaques Offenbach? That is surprising, because Offenbach's music is not necessarily associated with great vocal ornamentation. But at least Offenbach wrote more than 100 works for the stage (of which - as can be read in operalounge.de, this year, as in the previous year, some seldom played saw the light of day - just think of them Fées du Rhin in Tours and Biel or to the Princess of Trebizond in Hildesheim,King carrot in Hanover or Barouf in Paris / G. H.). And if you search a little, you will find a good number of such difficult arias for soprano. The label Alpha Classicshas sometimes reached deep into the box of rarities in his homage. Three arias from a truly emancipated female role can be found here: that of the tamer Olga from the operetta Boule de Neige (Snowball).

Some of Offenbach's legendary interpreters were not exactly famous for their agile voice and their sure highs. Its most famous actress, Hortense Schneider, the first Belle Hélène and the first Gerolstein, couldn't do something like that (the Viennese competitor Marie Geistinger could).

But one must not forget that Offenbach wrote no fewer than seven real operas for which great singers were available. The ambitious opera repertoire can also be found on the album. A noticeable amount of opera music can be heard here Cockatoo, Robinson Crusoe(not to forget the gorgeous recording by Opera Rara / G. H.), Fantasioand of course Les Contes d´Hoffmann. And basically is too BoulesdeRunning out an opera - the music for it became the shipwreck of the unfortunate Opéra-comique Barkoufrescued.

Lovable ideas: But Offenbach always manages to smuggle very demanding music, both compositionally and technically, into his smaller operettas. He always finds a good dramaturgical justification for the coloratura and the extravagance in the voice. Nice examples can be heard here on the album: In theVoyage à la Lune For example, the capricious moon princess Fantasia tells how nervous she is and how the slightest little thing makes her angry, and of course the twittering fits perfectly. In the Bavards Offenbach lets a very gossip-addicted woman talk contemptuously about a woman. who is very gossipy. You just have to love Offenbach for ideas like this.

Jodie Devos too? Yes! You can tell that where her top notes are, there is also the ceiling, and she sometimes sings in rooms with not so high ceilings. To put it less flowery: the actual decoration, the peak tone, often takes on a sharp-edged shape. Some of what can be heard here was sung by Natalie Dessay or Sumi Jo more elegantly and effortlessly. But not necessarily more charming. Because on the plus side, as a Belgian, Jodie Devos knows what she's singing. She paid a lot of attention to the text, her diction is fantastic, and in this respect she is perhaps closer to Offenbach stylistically than many a super diva.

French sound: The little crack, that certain ounce of imperfection - isn't that part of an authentic Offenbach interpretation anyway? Do you want to hear it like it did with colleague Meyerbeer? At least I don't. And that's why I like this album very much, despite small technical flaws - quite apart from the fact that Laurent Campellone gets really amazing things out of the Munich Radio Orchestra: It has a wonderfully French sound. Perhaps this is because the musicians have increasingly played the French repertoire in recent years. You can tell that they are deep in the fabric and hardly have to hide next to original French orchestras (Offenbach Colorature; Jodie Devos (soprano), Adele Charvet (mezzo-soprano) | Munich Radio Orchestra | Laurent Campellone; WorksBoule de Neige | Vert-Vert | Orphee aux Enfers | Un Mari a la Porte | Fantastico | Les Bavards | Mesdames de la Halle | Le Roi Carotte | Les Bergers | Les Conte d’Hoffmann | Robinson Crusoe | Le Voyage dans la Lune; Alpha Classics; ALPHA437). Matthias Käther


An album fits in there Overtures and interludes from Offenbach's operettas under the somewhat risky title Folies symphoniques von cpo good for that. Can be heard Les Bavards, Les Bergers, Le Roi Carotte, Monsieur Choufleuri, Les Brigands, Ba-Ta-Clan, Geneviève de Brabant, Monsieur et Madame Denis, La Créole, La Princesse de Trébizonde, Madame Favart, L’Ile de Tulipatan. The Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt plays under Howard Griffiths (CPO, DDD, 2017; 8921600.Jpc writes: As Adolf Tegtmeier alias Jürgen von Manger recognized, overtures have an important function in opera: "They start with the curtain and play all the melodies on one strip first, everything that comes up later. But that's just so that you should get used to the music first. And of course it's important ... that you don't get so scared afterwards. " The orchestral preludes gathered here make the listener curious about the following work. Even those who do not know the subtleties of their conception will delight in the inexhaustible wealth of melodies, the irresistible rhythm, the lyricisms and the skillful details of the instrumentation. The entirety of the pieces on this CD can be an invitation to approach the lush oeuvre of Jacques Offenbach on the occasion of this year's 200th birthday, even on unknown paths, without having to worry about "getting so scared afterwards". (jpc)