LE CONCERT DES NATIONS
Taking its cue from François Couperin's work Les Nations, which represented the coming together of "tastes" as well as looking forward to an artistic Europe, centuries old, that bears the stamp of the Age of Enlightenment, Le Concert des Nations came into being in 1989 as the youngest of the groups directed by JordiSavall. It emerged out of the preparations for the projected performance of CanticumBeataeVirgine by M. A. Charpentier, the new ensemble answering the need for an orchestra using period instruments and able to play the orchestral and symphonic repertoire from the Baroque to the Romantic periods (1600-1850). Le Concert des Nations is the first orchestra of its kind made up of musicians mostly from Latin countries (Spain, Latin America, Italy, Portugal, France etc., though without excluding musicians from other countries), all prominent specialists in performing on original instruments. The impact made by their recordings and by their concerts in the major venues and early-music festivals over the years have built up its reputation as one of the finest period-instrument orchestras today, capable of tackling a wide-ranging and varied repertoire embracing everything from the earliest works for orchestra (L'Orchestre de Louis XIII, 1600-1650) to works by Romantic masters, taking in the key composers of the Baroque and Classical periods on the way.
The orchestra's mission of bringing a high-quality historical repertoire to audiences everywhere through performances that are both historically sound and also revitalising was made clear in their first recordings: Charpentier, J.S. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Handel, Marais, Arriaga, Beethoven, Purcell, Dumanoir, Lully, and Biber. Recent productions include works by J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, Boccherini and Mozart, all released by ALIA VOX, JordiSavall's own label, a label that has been awarded many distinctions and prizes.
With UnaCosaRara by Martín y SolerLe Concert des Nations made its opera debut in 1992, and continued in that line with Monteverdi's Orfeo(first performed in 1993 and put on again in 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2007 in the opera houses Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Teatro Real in Madrid, and in Beaune, Vienna, Metz, Brussels and Bordeaux). In 1995 another opera by Martín y Soler, Il Burbero di BuonCuore, was staged in Montpellier, and in 2000 came Celosaun del Ayrematanby Juan Hidalgo with a libretto based on the play by Calderón de la Barca, which was staged in Salamanca, and put on in a concert version in Barcelona and Vienna. The group's most recent productions are Farnace by Vivaldi, first performed in Madrid'sTeatro de la Zarzuela (2001) and taken up again in Bordeaux (2003), Vienna (2005) and Paris (2007), and released on CD by ALIA VOX. Orfeo, the opera by Monteverdi mentioned above, was recorded on DVD for BBC/Opus Arte (2002), as was Die SiebenletztenWorteunseresErlösers am Kreuze by F. J. Haydn (2007) in a co-production by Element Productions and ALIA VOX (2007). The last recording from Le Concert des Nations is Le Concert Spirituel au temps de Louis XV (2010) and Jean-Philippe Rameau L’Orchestre de Louis XV. Suites d’Orchestre (2011).