Le Concert des Nations

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About Le Concert des Nations

The newest of the groups formed by viola da gamba player Jordi Savall, Le Concert des Nations has become an influential force in the historically informed performance of Renaissance and Baroque instrumental music. The group has performed by itself, under Savall's direction, and has also accompanied his instrumental-vocal group La Capella Reial de Catalunya. Savall formed Le Concert des Nations in 1989; the name was suggested by that of a group of trio sonatas by François Couperin (1726) that itself evoked the cosmopolitan and international nature of Parisian music of the day. At the time, the group was unusual in the realm of historically oriented instrumental music; few such groups had been established on the Iberian peninsula. Unlike other Savall groups, Le Concert des Nations has explored the music of the 18th and even the 19th centuries, having recorded Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 ("Eroica"), for the Naïve label in 1997. Although the group has performed and recorded the likes of Handel's Water Music, much of its output has been concerned with lost or neglected music of the 17th and 18th centuries. Quite early on, in 1995, Le Concert des Nations recorded the complete orchestral works of composer Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga, and a 1998 recording featured orchestral suites by the still-unfamiliar composer Guillaume Dumanoir. In 2000, the group joined La Capella Reial de Catalunya for a recording of Biber's substantial Missa Bruxellensis. The group's recording schedule in the 2000s has been busy and has also included perennial favorites; they recorded Handel's Messiah, HWV 56, in 2019. The recordings of Le Concert des Nations have appeared on Savall's Alia Vox label. ~ James Manheim

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