Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
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Jess Dandy is also performing May 3.
Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Artistic Director and Conductor
Lucy Crowe, Soprano
Jess Dandy, Contralto
Ed Lyon, Tenor
Matthew Rose, Bass
Symphony No. 8
Symphony No. 9
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for choral music established by S. Donald Sussman in memory of Judith Arron and Robert Shaw.
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.
Public support for Carnegie Hall Live on WQXR 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
Beethoven’s final two symphonies could not be more different. Steeped in 18th-century tradition, the Eighth is a work of airborne affirmation, opening and closing in bursts of exuberance, kicking out the usual slow movement, substituting a Neoclassical minuet for a scherzo, and adding a jewel-like Allegretto scherzando. Beethoven called it his “little symphony in F,” but it abounds with ideas and seems small only in comparison to the Ninth, a monumental choral-orchestral extravaganza that broke all the boundaries of harmony and classical form to create a new kind of symphony. Opening in a terrifying abyss, it builds through a scherzo of unprecedented elemental power and a variation slow movement in Beethoven’s most abstract late style toward a culminating choral finale that has become the most frequently cited affirmation of human solidarity in music. Beethoven’s large-scale fusion of vocal and symphonic writing—from the eerie tremolos in the opening to the “Ode to Joy” in the finale—profoundly influenced not only the Romantics, but Mahler and the Modernists as well.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Sir John Eliot Gardiner is revered as one of the world’s most innovative and dynamic musicians, and as a leader in the contemporary musical world. His work—as founder and artistic director of the Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique—has made him a key figure of the early-music revival and historically informed performance practice.
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.
Jess Dandy’s 2019–2020 season includes appearances at the London Handel Festival, Oxford Lieder Festival, Hampstead Arts Festival, and Halle Handel Festival in performances of Handel’s Fernando, re di Castiglia and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, as well as in solo recitals. She tours to Europe and the US in Handel’s Rodelinda with Harry Bicket and The English Concert, to Scotland and South America in Handel’s Messiah with the Dunedin Consort, and to Barcelona for recital appearances. Other major performances from the season include Alex Mills’s Dear Marie Stopes at Kings Place, Beethoven’s Missa solemnis at the Southbank Centre with Crouch End Festival Chorus, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major and Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore with the Thames Philharmonic Choir, Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil with the London Concert Choir, Bach’s St. John Passion with the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
Ms. Dandy’s other recent festival appearances include Handel’s Israel in Egypt at the Three Choirs Festival, Bach’s cantatas at the Edinburgh International Festival and his St. Matthew Passion at the Boston Early Music Festival (both with the Dunedin Consort), and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the Ryedale Festival. She has performed Bach’s Mass in B Minor in Leipzig and his St. John Passion with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants on tour in Europe. Concert performances include Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été with Douglas Boyd and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah with the Hallé Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
Ms. Dandy is co-founder of SongPath, an initiative founded to promote walking and music-making in the context of mental health. She studied at Trinity College Cambridge and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She was the winner of the London Bach Society Singers Prize and the Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform, and a finalist in Das Lied. She has been recognized by the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme and Heidelberger Frühling.
Mr. Lyon’s notable operatic performances in the UK include R. Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos; Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, Der fliegende Holländer, and Tannhäuser; and Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel for the Royal Opera House. In addition, he has performed in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Handel’s Ariodante for Scottish Opera; Janáček’s Jenůfa for Welsh National Opera; Britten’s The Turn of the Screw for Garsington Opera; and Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail for The Grange Festival. His European operatic performances include Beethoven’s Fidelio for Madrid’s Teatro Real, the world premiere of Nicholas Lens’s Shell Shock and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for La Monnaie in Paris, Cavalli’s Eliogabalo for Dutch National Opera, Denisov’s L’écume des jours for Staatsoper Stuttgart, Purcell’s Miranda for Oper Köln, and Adès’s The Exterminating Angel for the Salzburg Festival. He also performs Janáček’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared in a staged production with Music Theatre Transparent, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with The Bach Choir, and Britten’s War Requiem with the NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Hanover and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
British bass Matthew Rose studied at the Curtis Institute of Music before becoming a member of the Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Highlights of his 2019–2020 season include Leporello (Don Giovanni) at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Claudio (Agrippina) and Colline (La bohème) at the Metropolitan Opera, Baron Ochs (Der Rosenkavalier) at La Monnaie, and Nick Shadow (The Rake’s Progress) at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Forthcoming concert highlights include Beethoven’s Missa solemnis at Carnegie Hall with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Robert Spano, and the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic with Giancarlo Guerrero.
Mr. Rose’s recital appearances have included the Brighton, Chester, and Cheltenham festivals, and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, London’s Wigmore Hall, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. In concert, he has appeared at the Edinburgh Festival, BBC Proms, and Mostly Mozart Festival in New York. Previous engagements also include the London Symphony Orchestra with Sir Colin Davis, Daniel Harding, and Michael Tilson Thomas; Los Angeles Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel; Staatskapelle Dresden with Sir Charles Mackerras; BBC Symphony Orchestra with Sir Andrew Davis, Jiří Bělohlávek, and Marc Minkowski; London Philharmonic Orchestra and The Philadelphia Orchestra with Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique with Sir John Eliot Gardiner; Boston Symphony Orchestra with Charles Dutoit; and Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with Sir Antonio Pappano.
Recent performances include Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Tonkunstler Orchestra, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Schubert’s Mass No. 5 with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Kent Nagano, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski.
Mr. Rose’s recordings include Winterreise with Gary Matthewman and Schwanengesang with Malcolm Martineau (Stone Records). His most recent solo release is Arias for Benucci with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen (Hyperion).
Among its many trailblazing tours was the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000, during which the choir performed all 198 of J. S. Bach’s sacred cantatas in more than 60 churches throughout Europe and North America. The entire project was recorded and released by the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra’s record label, Soli Deo Gloria, with Gramophone hailing the venture as “one of the most ambitious musical projects of all time.” The Monteverdi Choir has more than 150 recordings to its name and has won numerous prizes.
The group has taken part in a variety of projects across different repertoires, ranging from a tour of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the English Baroque Soloists (EBS) to Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust and Verdi’s Requiem with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (ORR). It has also performed in several staged opera productions, including Orphée et Eurydice at the Royal Opera House, Carmen at the Opéra Comique, and Les Troyens at the Théâtre du Châtelet. In 2017, the group took part in the award-winning Monteverdi 450, which included performances of Monteverdi’s three surviving operas with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the EBS across Europe and the US.
In 2019, the Monteverdi Choir showcased a new production of Handel’s Semele, touring to such celebrated halls across Europe as Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. The highlights continued into the summer as the group joined Mr. Gardiner, ORR, and an international cast of soloists for critically acclaimed performances of Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini. The group rounded off the year with a series of debut performances in Russia and South America, performing sacred choral works by Monteverdi, Carissimi, Purcell, and Scarlatti.
Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
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 andDer 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.