Classical Music Library Free Download of the Week

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Every two weeks, Alexander Street offers a free music download from our popular online music collection. This download is freely available, regardless of whether or not your library subscribes to the collection.

Gendarmes' Duet from Geneviève de Brabant, by Jacques Offenbach

French composer Jacques Offenbach (1819–1880) is one of the most celebrated French composers of the nineteenth century, and his works were a significant contribution to the development of operetta. “Operetta” literally means “little opera”, and differs from traditional opera (sometimes referred to as “grand opera” in contrast) with light, at times silly, plots and texts, and often has spoken dialogue. Offenbach first composed his operetta Geneviève de Brabant in 1859 and revised it in 1867 and 1875. The opera’s most famous number is this duet “Protéger le repos des villes”, also known as the “Gendarmes’ Duet”, sung by two armed men in the forest. You may recognize the tune as it is the basis for the official hymn of the U.S. Marine Corps that begins “From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli…”
This historical recording is performed by Alexis Boyer and Alfred Dambrine.

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