Jacques Offenbach will always be associated with music which is tuneful, but frivolous. Yet he was also a serious writer and composers from Lehar to Gershwin are indebted to him for the impetus which he gave to musical comedy. Much of his work satirised the socialites of the glittering Second Empire in Paris. Nevertheless, they adored him and his music. Although he was an untiring worker, he also led a glamorous life. Peter Gammond gives a highly readable account of Offenbach's life and his musical achievements. The text is lavishly illustrated and a catalogue of Offenbach's work is included with notes on principal early productions.
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