Les Musiciens du Louvre
Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble has ranked among the leading interpreters of Baroque music in Europe since its creation. The repertoire of Les Musiciens du Louvre reflects Marc Minkowski's tastes: he has championed music by Marais, Mouret, Charpentier, Lully, and Rameau, and is determined to revive interest in Handel's lesser-known operas. The period-instrument ensemble Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble was founded in Paris in 1982 by Minkowski, who has served as its conductor since its founding. Recognition came quickly, and soon it was asked to participate in high-profile events. In 1992, it inaugurated the Baroque Festival in Versailles with a revival of Gluck's Armide, and in 1993, participated in the official reopening of the Lyon Opera, performing Phaëton by Lully. Les Musiciens du Louvre established permanent residence in Grenoble in 1996, joining forces with the Orchestre de Chambre de Grenoble. During the following seasons, it performed and recorded Gluck's Armide, Handel's Ariodante, Charpentier's Te Deum, Rameau's Dardanus, and Handel's "Roman" motets. In 1995, the group performed Purcell's Dido and Aeneas at the Toronto Opera, the Houston Opera, the BBC Proms, and the Opéra Royal in Versailles. Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble has recorded for several labels, including Erato, Archiv Produktion, and Naïve. Its discography with Erato includes works such as Handel's Teseo, Mouret's Les Amours de Ragonde, Jean-Féry Rebel's symphonie nouvelle, Les Élémens, Handel's Concerti Grossi, Op. 3, and Lully's Phaëton. In 1993, the group was awarded the coveted Gramophone Award for Best Baroque Vocal Recording for its rendering of Alessandro Stradella's San Giovanni Battista. For Archiv Produktion, it has recorded Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie and Anacréon, Handel's very early Oratorio per la Resurrezione di Nostro Signor Gesù Cristo, and Lully's Acis et Galatée. In 1998/1999, it recorded Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride and performed Rameau's difficult Platée at the Opéra National de Paris and the Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele. The group also presented Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea at the Festival international d'Aix-en-Provence. In 1999/2000, it toured throughout Europe with Magdalena Kozená performing Handel's "Italian" cantatas and Hercules, as well as J.S. Bach's Orchestral Suites. In 2000, the group was featured on the original soundtrack of Le Messie, a film by William Klein. The 2000/2001 season featured productions of Offenbach's La belle Hélène at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Handel's Ariodante at the Opéra National de Paris with Anne-Sofie von Otter, as well as a revival of Platée in Geneva, Montpellier, Metz, Grenoble, and Bordeaux. Since 2005, the ensemble has ventured into later repertoire, performing works by Berlioz, Bizet, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and Stravinsky. In 2019, Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble, under Minkowski, issued a recording of Offenbach's La Périchole on the Palazzetto Bru Zane label.
© John Palmer & Keith Finke /TiVo
© John Palmer & Keith Finke /TiVo
2 albums sorted by Most acclaimed and filtered by Classical, Jean-Joseph-Cassanéa de Mondonville and Archiv Produktion
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Classical - Released January 1, 1998 | Archiv Produktion
Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville, violinist of the royal chapel and just a bit younger than Rameau, is one of those French composers of the late Baroque generally relegated to the summary paragraph in historical surveys. His music is not terribly common on recordings, and the Brilliant label's resurrection of this late-'90s recording on Archiv, despite dreadful sound, is welcome. These little "sonates en symphonies" are interesting in several respects. The name comes from the fact that Mondonville made orchestral versions, some years after the fact, of a set of keyboard-and-violin sonatas published as his Op. 3 in the early 1730s (the orchestral versions come from 1748 or 1749). He did this unusual sort of arrangement quite skillfully, with novel ways, for the time in France, of incorporating wind instruments into the texture. Despite the fact that Mondonville would soon be charged by the king's mistress, Madame de Pompadour, with the task of defending French music in the notorious Querelle des Bouffons, these three-movement sonatas, mostly in the fast-slow-fast pattern, are Italian to the core. The only exception comes in the middle movements, all of which except the last bear the adjective "gratioso." These are full of Parisian charm, and the one from the Sonate No. 5 (track 14), with its strings rapidly dancing in the background of a calm tune, is unique. The outer movements are all well-wrought, often feinting alternately in the directions of counterpoint and fetching melody. The historical-instrument group Les Musiciens du Louvre (based in Grenoble, despite the name), even without the favorable sonic environment they would later enjoy at the Naïve label, show themselves perfectly attuned to the sensuous and colorful imagination of the music. Recommended even for casual Baroque fans, at least for play on midprice equipment or worse, and orchestral conductors of whatever stripe should also get to know these works; as curtain-raisers, any one of them would put an audience in a good mood. Booklet notes are in English only. © TiVo