Performance Thursday, November 17, 2011 | 8 PM

Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
After hearing this period-instrument ensemble and its dynamic leader perform Beethoven, you’ll never think about the composer the same way again. That was the consensus when they released their thrilling recording of the composer’s symphonies back in 1994, and it’s a sentiment you’re sure to hold after this final concert of the orchestra’s two-night all-Beethoven residency.


  • Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
    Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Artistic Director and Conductor


  • Overture to Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus
  • Symphony No. 3, "Eroica"
  • Symphony No. 4


  • Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique

    The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique was founded in 1989 by Sir John Eliot Gardiner to bring to the music of the 19th and early 20th centuries the same intensity of expression and stylistic accuracy found with his renowned period-instrument chamber ensemble, the English Baroque Soloists. Together with the Monteverdi Choir, the ORR and English Baroque Soloists make up the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra Ltd.

    The ORR won plaudits for its complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies in the 1990s and is now returning to this repertoire for the first time in nearly 20 years. Another of the orchestra's outstanding successes has been its acclaimed Berlioz interpretations, beginning with the Symphonie fantastique at the former Conservatoire de la Musique in Paris, where the work was premiered in 1830. In 1993, the ORR gave the first modern performances of the rediscovered Messe solennelle, and 10 years later, it performed L'enfance du Christ at The Proms, as well as the first complete performances of Les Troyens at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Its critically acclaimed recordings include Schumann symphonies and music by Verdi, Weber, and Mendelssohn, and in 2003, a highly successful dramatization of the writing of Beethoven's "Eroica"Symphony with BBC television.

    From 2006 to 2008, the ORR embarked on an ambitious Brahms project with the Monteverdi Choir, performing Brahms's music along works by other composers which might have inspired him. The orchestra is currently involved in a five-year collaboration with the Opéra Comique in Paris, during which it has performed in staged performances of Chabrier's L'etoile, Bizet's Carmen, Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, and most recently Weber's Der Freischütz.

    Forthcoming performances in 2012-2013 include a tour of Beethoven's Missa solemnis in the US and Europe, and European performances of Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande and Berlioz's Le damnation de Faust.

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    Sir John Eliot Gardiner

    Sir John Eliot Gardiner is one of the most versatile conductors of our time. Acknowledged as a key figure in the early-music revival, he is the founder and artistic director of the Monteverdi Choir, the English Baroque Soloists, and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. Alongside activities with his own ensembles, Mr. Gardiner appears regularly as guest conductor with the most important European symphony orchestras, including the Vienna and Berlin philharmonics and the London Symphony Orchestra.

    The extent of Mr. Gardiner's repertoire is illustrated by more than 250 recordings made for major European companies, which have received numerous international awards. He has also been releasing recordings of the 2000 Bach Cantata Pilgrimage and Brahms symphonies on his record label, Soli Deo Gloria.

    His most recent projects with the Monteverdi ensembles include European tours of Bach's motets, Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms,and Monteverdi's Vespers. He is currently continuing a five-year collaboration with the Opéra Comique in Paris, along with the Monteverdi Choir and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. Away from his own ensembles, Mr. Gardiner is involved in a three-year Beethoven cycle with the London Symphony Orchestra. Future engagements include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre national de France, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

    In 1987, Mr. Gardiner received an honorary doctorate from the University of Lyon. In 1992, he became an honorary fellow of both King's College, London, and the Royal Academy of Music. He received a knighthood in the 1998 Queen's Birthday Honours List. In 2008, he was awarded the Royal Academy of Music / Kohn Foundation's prestigious Bach Prize. Two years later, Mr. Gardiner was made Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, following his nomination as Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1996.

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Mozart Symphony No.5 (Allegro Con Brio)
Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique; Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor

At a Glance

The three works presented this evening outline the development of Beethoven’s so-called middle period. The overture to Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus dates from 1801, a time when his works were still clearly influenced by the late–18th-century style. The Symphony No. 4 is the vibrant work of a mature and novel composer, but it is the “Eroica” Symphony that truly defines his middle period—a monumental breakthrough not just for Beethoven, but for the entire tradition of symphonic music.
Program Notes
The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Debs in support of the 2011-2012 season.