Jacques Offenbach is undoubtedly best known for his operettas. Yet, being a virtuoso cellist from a young age, it was inevitable that the composer would write for this instrument. His cello duets were born out of the desire to create works that combine beauty, technical brilliance and a great sense of fun.
A vivid imagination comprises the suites that make up Cours méthodique de duos. The works contain much musical parody, containing references to mountain choruses and funeral processions, among others, and imitating – with the cello – the sounds of other orchestral instruments, such as the French horn. These works also show off Offenbach’s sheer knowledge of music, with nods to the styles of Verdi and Paganini, and the compendium as a whole takes into account the technical growth of the performer without restricting the formal structure of the music.
Performing the works are acclaimed Italian cellists Andrea Noferini and Giovanni Sollima. Noferini originally studied with the great violinist Arthur Grumiaux, and his discographical successes include ‘CD of the month’ from Naxos; Sollima, also a composer by profession, received a 5-star review from Amadeus for his recording of Neapolitan Cello Concertos on the Glossa label.
- New recordings, recorded 23–25 October 2013 & 21–23 February 2013, Bartók Studio, Bernareggio, Milan.
- Jacques Offenbach, the successful composer of light and spirited Parisian operas and operettas, was a gifted cellist himself. For his instrument he wrote a “Cours Méthodique de duos pour deux violoncelles” , a substantial collection of duos for two cellos. While maintaining the didactic and technically challenging form of the Étude, he wrote music which is at times charming, melodious, witty and sometimes hilarious, in the imitation of hymns, choruses, funeral marches and the sound of other instruments, such as a tuba or a French horn: a sheer delight!
- The two cellists, Giovanni Sollima and Andrea Noferini, obviously enjoy themselves hugely, offering infectious and technically astounding performances.
- Contains liner notes on the composer and works as well as artist biographies.