Offenbach emerged in 1970 from the transformation of various bands throughout the 60's, the last being "Les Gants Blancs" lead by the Boulet brothers who were then inspired by the psychedelia of the times and artists like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. The lineup is then comprised of Gerry Boulet (keyboard & vocals), Jean Johnny Gravel (guitars), Michel "Willie" Lamothe Jr (bass) and Denis Boulet, who left the band after the first record to be replaced on drums by Roger (Wézo) Belval. That year they meet with musician, poet and filmmaker Pierre Harel whom they integrated to the band as singer and author, and would then release the soundtrack to his movie "Bulldozer" in 1973…
1967 - what a wonderful year! It heralded the Summer of Love when hippies roamed the streets of London clad in kaftans and beads and Flower Power ruled. It was also a year of artistic development when the Yardbirds became an important part of the coming rock revolution.
Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann is among those operas with most textual problems, since the composer did not live to its premiere, leaving an incomplete score. The traditional text, bringing in extra material, much of it unauthentic, and leaving out alot, was only established in the 20th century. This Dresden recording sessions were held (June 1987-June 1989) borrowed much from Michael Kaye's 1991 Schott Edition.
Alun Francis is one of the most respected conductors on the international scene, and is particularly admired for his efforts in bringing international recognition to several great tonal symphonists active in the post-World War II years, and for other efforts on behalf of 20th century music. His "native" instrument is the French horn. He continued his studies on that instrument and took conducting while attending the Royal Manchester College of Music from 1960 to 1963.
Everyone knows Offenbach's famous "Can-can" from the operetta Orpheus in the Underworld, but how many casual listeners have heard it in its original version, as a chorus of demons(!) in Hades? In fact, the version best known is this one, as arranged for the ballet Gaîté Parisienne by the delightful French composer and conductor Manuel Rosenthal. The work has been a staple of the Monte-Carlo ballet for about six decades, and Naxos has assembled the orchestra that knows it best for what amounts to a brand-new, original cast production, led by none other than the 95 years young Rosenthal.