Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Artistic Director and Conductor
Lucy Crowe, Soprano
Overture, Introduction, and Act I from The Creatures of Prometheus
Symphony No. 1
Leonore Overture No. 1
"Ach, brich noch nicht, du mattes Herz!" - "Komm, Hoffnung, lass den letzten Stern" from Act II of Leonore
Finale to The Creatures of Prometheus
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
Lead support for the Beethoven Celebration is provided by The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund.
Public support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
In honor of the centenary of his birth, Carnegie Hall’s 2019–2020 season is dedicated to the memory of Isaac Stern in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to Carnegie Hall, arts advocacy, and the field of music.
At a Glance
This concert presents works from Beethoven’s early period, some of them rarely performed. The First Symphony has bright echoes of Haydn and Mozart, as well as teasing glimmers of the new energy and sweep that Beethoven was soon to bring to music. The Creatures of Prometheus, a rarely performed ballet, features melodic generosity, transparent orchestration, and a fascinating forecast of the “Eroica” Symphony. The three arias on the program—one a stand-alone concert piece, the others from Beethoven’s only opera—combine passionate lyricism with treacherous challenges for the soprano, a harbinger of later vocal works such as the Missa solemnis and Ninth Symphony. The version of Beethoven’s opera used by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, including the overture, is the infrequently heard Leonore, the prototype of the more familiar later version entitled Fidelio, a popular work that kept Beethoven connected with his audience at a time when his mature works—the ones familiar to us—were denounced by many as abstract and incomprehensible. The charm, passion, and ingenuity in all these pieces demonstrate that even if Beethoven had not gone on to be a major innovator, he would have remained a brilliant exponent of the Classical style.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Mr. Gardiner is a regular guest of the world’s leading symphony orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, conducting repertoire from the 16th to the 20th centuries. He has also conducted productions at the Vienna State Opera, Teatro alla Scala, and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. From 1983 to 1988, he was artistic director of the Opéra National de Lyon, where he founded its new orchestra.
Mr. Gardiner’s broad repertoire is illustrated by his extensive catalog of award-winning recordings on both major labels and his own Soli Deo Gloria with the Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, as well as other leading orchestras. He holds two Grammy Awards and has received more Gramophone Classical Music Awards than any other living artist.
Recent achievements with the ensembles include the award-winning Monteverdi 450 tour; a reprise of the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, which toured to some of Europe’s most famous concert halls and churches; a five-year exploration of Berlioz’s major works to mark the 150th anniversary of the composer’s death; and a landmark performance of Verdi’s Requiem at Westminster Cathedral to aid Cancer Research UK. In 2019, Mr. Gardiner conducted new productions of Handel’s Semele and Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini, and made debut performances in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, and Russia.
An authority on the music of J. S. Bach, Mr. Gardiner’s book Music in the Castle of Heaven was published in October 2013 by Allen Lane, earning the France Musique des Muses Prize. Among numerous awards in recognition of his work, Mr. Gardiner holds several honorary doctorates; he was elevated to knighthood for his services to music in the 1998 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
In concert, Ms. Crowe has performed with The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm, Sakari Oramo, and Andris Nelsons; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras and Richard Egarr; Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Mr. Mackerras and Mr. Nézet-Séguin; and Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. Her most recent appearances include Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Mr. Nelsons, and The Cunning Little Vixen with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
Ms. Crowe can be heard on recordings of Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, Handel’s Il pastor fido and Alceste, Eccles’s The Judgement of Paris, and others. She has collaborated on albums with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, La Nuova Musica and David Bates, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Edward Gardner, Early Opera Company and Christian Curnyn, and The English Concert and Harry Bicket.
This season, Ms. Crowe makes her debut at Dutch National Opera in the title role of Rodelinda and returns to the Royal Opera House as Poppea in Agrippina. In concert, she joins the Berliner Philharmoniker and Emmanuelle Haïm for Apollo e Dafne, Orchestre de Paris and Daniel Harding for Elijah, and The English Concert and Harry Bicket for Rodelinda.
Ms. Crowe is a fellow at the Royal Academy of Music.
Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Founded in 1989 by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (ORR) strives to provide bold new perspectives on the music of the 19th and early 20th centuries through its stylistic fidelity and intensity of expression.
Since its inception, the ORR has won plaudits for its interpretations of works by major early Romantic composers—from Beethoven to Berlioz—as well as later composers who include Verdi and Debussy. Major projects have included Beethoven symphony cycles, Schumann Revealed, and Brahms: Root and Memories, for each of which the ensemble recorded the complete symphonies of the composers. In addition, the ORR has performed such operas as Weber’s Oberon and Der Freischütz, Bizet’s Carmen, Chabrier’s L’étoile, Verdi’s Falstaff, and Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande in new productions in France, Italy, and London, and it gave the first complete staged performances in Paris of Berlioz’s Les Troyens.
In 2015, ORR returned to the music of Berlioz for a five-year exploration of the composer’s large-scale works, performing Roméo et Juliette, La damnation de Faust, Symphonie fantastique, Harold en Italie, and Lélio across Europe and the US. The project featured five consecutive appearances at the Proms, a highlight of which was performing excerpts of Les Troyens alongside mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. The celebrations culminated in 2019, marking the 150th anniversary of the composer’s death with the first contemporary performances of his opera Benvenuto Cellini on period instruments. The orchestra was joined by The Monteverdi Choir and a cast of international soloists for a series of critically acclaimed staged concerts of the opera at the Proms, Berliner Festspiele, Festival Berlioz, and Château de Versailles.
The 2019–2020 season marks 30 years since the founding of ORR, as well as the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. In celebration of these milestones, the orchestra embarks on another momentous project, performing a cycle of all nine of the composer’s symphonies in residencies across Europe and the US. The celebrations continue in September as the orchestra reunites with The Monteverdi Choir to perform Beethoven’s Missa solemnis at several of Europe’s most prestigious music festivals.
The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique is one of the three ensembles, together with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, constituting the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras. Please visit monteverdi.co.uk for more information.