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Marc Minkowski/Choeur des Musiciens du Louvre/Les Musiciens du Louvre - Grenoble

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Les Musiciens du Louvre is a classical music ensemble that specializes in historically informed performances, employing period-accurate instrumentation and arrangements in an effort to interpret the music of centuries past as it was originally presented. The collective was formed in 1982 by conductor Marc Minkowski, a bassoonist who specialized in Baroque music and was interested in reintroducing compositions that he felt were unjustly ignored by contemporary orchestras.


Initially focused on live performance, the orchestra (which isn’t affiliated with the Louvre Museum) didn’t make an official recording until 1989, debuting on Erato label with its interpretation of two works by Handel. Its oeuvre eventually expanded into the world of opera, and albums of compositions by Étienne Méhul, Marin Marais, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, and Jean-Philippe Rameau shortly followed in the early 1990s. More than a decade after its founding, Les Musiciens du Louvre claimed the Gramophone Classical Music Award in 1993 for Best Baroque Vocal for its rendition of Alessandro Stradella’s San Giovanni Battista.


In 1996, the group merged with the Orchestre de Chambre de Grenoble, a similarly-minded unit, and the formerly Paris-based outfit relocated to Grenoble, the “capital of the Alps.” But the orchestra’s original mission has always remained intact, as evidenced on 21st century recordings of works by Bach, Wagner, Schubert, and Haydn, and Minkowski’s ensemble continues to tour regularly.


©Copyright Music Story Chris Steffen 2021
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