Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique was founded by Sir John Eliot Gardiner in 1989 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. In 2011, the orchestra returned to this repertoire for the first time in nearly 20 years, with a successful tour of Beethoven symphonies in Europe and the USA. In 2012 they continued with a tour of the Missa Solemnis which took them to 13 venues in 10 countries.
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 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 by the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique 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 he himself transcribed and conducted. The project was recorded for the ensembles’ own label, Soli Deo Gloria.
Operas by Weber (Oberon and Le Freyschütz), Bizet (Carmen), Chabrier (L’Etoile), Verdi (Falstaff) and Debussy (Pelléas et Mélisande) have been performed in new productions in France, Italy and (some) in London.
Recent performances in 2012 have included performances of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and works by Brahms, Bruckner (his Mass in E minor) and Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms. Further touring engagements for 2013 include Beethoven Symphonies No 2 and 8.
The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique is under the patronage of HRH the Prince of Wales.
Members of the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique: