Offenbach: Entra’cte et Barcarolle (from ‘The Tales of Hoffmann’)


Offenbach’s beautifully lilting Barcarolle is surely one of the most popular melodies ever written! Here arranged for wind quintet and piano.

  • Instruments : Fl., Ob., Cl. (in A), Hn., Bsn., Pno
  • Difficulty : C – approx. ABRSM Grade 5
  • Duration : 3’15
  • ISMN : 979-0-708141-38-9
  • Portus Press reference : PPQP18


The operetta The Tales of Hoffman by the French composer Jacques Offenbach (1819 – 1880) remains a much-loved part of the standard opera repertory.

Although the vocal score was substantially complete at the time of Offenbach’s death he had only made a start on the orchestration (which was subsequently completed by others).  In his later years – and despite failing health – he had strived to complete the work (telling his dog ‘’I would give everything I have to be at the première”) but it was sadly not to be: he died just four months before the work’s first performance.

Offenbach originally wrote the operetta’s most famous number – the Barcarolle – for an earlier work Die Rheinnixen (1864) in which it is known as the Elves’ Song.  In The Tales of Hoffman it appears as Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour  – a duet for soprano and mezzo-soprano in which they sing about the beauty of the night and of love.  It is surely one of the most popular melodies ever written and its appeal endures today.

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