Offenbach: Cello Concertos

Offenbach: Cello Concertos

by Guido SchiefenGuido Schiefen


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Before hearing Jacques Offenbach's works for cello and orchestra, abandon any expectations of serious concerto writing, and prepare instead for musical comedy, albeit of an instrumental variety. Offenbach's habitual tunefulness and tendency to compose medleys undermines conventional notions of form and development, and his "Concerto militaire in G major" is far from orthodox. While the cello is featured prominently and given many choice passages for virtuosic display, the stringing of one infectious melody after another makes this work more comparable to the later potpourris from the operettas. The "Four Impressions" are really collaborations between Offenbach and Friedrich von Flotow, which were orchestrated later by Heinz Geese from the cello and piano score. Despite the prominent cello solos, these are not concerto movements in any sense, but more like songs without words. The "Concerto Rondo," like the first work, is a tune-fest similar in its jaunty militarism and cheerful spirit of parody to "La Grande Duchesse du Gerolstein" or "La Fille du tambour major." As the soloist, cellist Guido Schiefen is engaging and lyrical, though there are times when he comes close to scraping, particularly in his double-stops. The WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln, under three conductors, is supportive, but not much more involved than its largely accompanimental role allows. CPO's sound quality is decent.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/18/2005
Label: Cpo Records
UPC: 0761203706921
catalogNumber: 777069
Rank: 121091


  1. Concerto militaire, for cello & orchestra in G major
  2. Deux âmes au ciel, for cello & piano, Op. 25
  3. Introduction et valse mélancolique, for cello & piano, Op. 14
  4. Rêverie au bord de la mer, for cello & piano
  5. La course en traîneau, etude caprice for cello & piano
  6. Concerto rondo (Concertino), for cello & orchestra in G major

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Offenbach: Cello Concertos 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My wife and I really enjoyed the music. Good quality and performance.