Orphée aux Enfers – Can-Can – Score and parts



‘Orphée aux enfers’ (Orpheus in the Underworld), is a comic operetta composed by Jacques Offenbach. The operetta is an irreverent parody and scathing satire on Gluck and his ‘Orfeo ed Euridice’ and culminates in the risqué ‘Galop infernal’ which is famous outside classical circles as the music for the can-can (to the extent that the tune is widely, but erroneously, called ‘can-can’). This ‘Galop’ shocked some in the audience at the premiere. The overture made prominent use of the operetta’s best music, most obviously the concluding can-can. This overture rapidly gained popularity on its own account, and it remains a favourite piece for orchestral concerts.

Arranged for small symphony orchestra (1111/1110/Timp+1/Pf/Str)

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