Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique was founded by Sir John Eliot Gardiner 25 years ago, with the aim of bringing to the music of the 19th and early 20th centuries an equivalent stylistic fidelity and intensity of expression characteristic of his renowned period-instrument orchestra, the English Baroque Soloists.
From its inception – in performances and a recording of Brahms’ Deutsches Requiem – the ORR won plaudits internationally, notably for its interpretation of the works of Beethoven, which it performed extensively and recorded for DG in the 1990s. The orchestra has recently returned to this repertoire with successful tours of Beethoven symphonies in Europe and the USA in 2011 and 2013. In 2012 they performed the Missa Solemnis in performances in 13 venues in 10 countries, including a live recording by the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra’s own label, Soli Deo Gloria.
The orchestra has been acclaimed for its interpretations of all the major early Romantic composers, starting with Hector Berlioz. They performed and recorded his Symphonie Fantastique in the hall of the old Paris Conservatoire, where the very first performance took place in 1830. In 1993, together with the Monteverdi Choir, the orchestra gave the first modern performances of the newly rediscovered Messe Solennelle. Ten years later they joined forces to perform L’Enfance du Christ at the Proms as well as the first complete staged performances in France of Berlioz’s masterpiece Les Troyens, given at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
Other critically acclaimed initiatives have included a project entitled ‘Schumann Revealed’ given at the Barbican in 1997 that led to recordings of the complete Schumann symphonies and Das Paradies und die Peri. This was followed a decade later by ‘Brahms: Roots and Memory’ given at the Salle Pleyel and the Royal Festival Hall in 2007/8, in which Brahms’ four symphonies were set in the context of his most significant choral works and music of the 16th to 19th centuries that Brahms himself transcribed and conducted. This entire project was recorded by Soli Deo Gloria.
Operas by Weber (Oberon and Le Freyschütz), Bizet (Carmen), Chabrier (L’Etoile), Verdi (Falstaff) and Debussy (Pelléas et Mélisande) have also been performed in new productions in France, Italy and (some) in London.
This autumn, the orchestra celebrates its 25th anniversary with performances of Beethoven Leonore overture and Berlioz Les nuits d’été and La Mort de Cléopâtre, with soprano soloists Susan Graham, Anna Caterina Antonacci and Ann Hallenberg. Among other dates, this anniversary tour will include the orchestra’s début in Mexico City, and culminate in London at the Barbican, the venue of its first 1989 concert, on 7th November.
The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique is under the patronage of HRH the Prince of Wales.
Members of the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique: