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Offenbach: Tales of Hoffmann - Barcarolle (L'Orchestre De La Suisse Romande)

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Uploaded on Dec 13, 2009

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The Tales of Hoffmann (Les contes d'Hoffmann) is an opera by Jacques Offenbach. The French libretto was written by Jules Barbier, based on short stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann, who is the main protagonist in the opera (as he is in the stories).

The most famous aria from the opera is the "Barcarolle" (Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour), which is performed in Act 2. Curiously, the aria was not written by Offenbach with Les contes d'Hoffmann in mind. He wrote it as the 'Elves Song' in the opera Die Rheinnixen (Les fées du Rhin), which premiered in Vienna on February 8, 1864. Offenbach died with Les contes d'Hoffmann unfinished. Ernest Guiraud completed the scoring and wrote the recitatives for the premiere. He also incorporated this excerpt from one of Offenbach's earlier, long-forgotten operas into the new opera.[5].
The Barcarolle has inspired the English composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji his Passeggiata veneziana sopra la Barcarola di Offenbach (195556). Moritz Moszkowski also wrote a virtuoso transcription of it.
The Barcarolle has been incorporated into many films, including Life Is Beautiful and Titanic.

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