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Thread: Favourite Period Instrument Orchestras & Ensembles

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    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
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    Default Favourite Period Instrument Orchestras & Ensembles

    I am now listening to some Vivaldi concertos and I want to ask you about your favourite period instrument orchestras.

    This is a short list of some of my favourite Period Instrument Orchestras & Ensembles:

    Ricercar Consort
    Collegium 1704
    Les Arts Florissants
    La Chapelle Royale
    Ensemble 415
    Les Musiciens du Louvre
    Les Talens Lyriques
    Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
    Concerto Köln
    Freiburger Barockorchester
    Musica Antiqua Köln
    La Cetra Barockorchester Basel
    Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca
    Accademia Bizantina
    Concerto Italiano
    Europa Galante
    Il Giardino Armonico
    I Barocchisti
    Modo Antiquo
    Venice Baroque Orchestra
    Bach Collegium Japan
    Le Concert des Nations/Hespèrion XX/Hespèrion XXI
    Ensemble Elyma
    Academy of Ancient Music
    English Baroque Soloists

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    I do not keep up with them. However, I do enjoy Collegium Aureum.
    Last edited by david johnson; Jul-03-2018 at 10:22.

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    Senior Member Ras's Avatar
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    Sigiswald Kuijken and Le Petite Bande - My favorite recording of Haydn's London Symphonies. Two of my favorite recordings of Bach's Orchestral suites (and two of my LEAST favorite recordings of the Brandenburgs).

    Joos van Immerseel and Anima Eterna. Wonderful piano concertos by Mozart and Beethoven. Some of my favorite recordings of Beethoven Symphonies no. 7 and 8.

    Jordi Savall and his ensembles - I don't think I have ever regretted spending time with his recordings.

    Richar Egarr or Christopher Hogwood with The Academy of Ancient Music. Hogwood's recordings have really grown on me over the years - I used to prefer Pinnock in the Mozart symphonies, but how it's Hogwood. Egarr is excellent with Bach - the Passions and the Brandenburgs and Orchestral suites... YEAH!

    Unfortunately Immerseel hasn't recorded much Haydn and Kuijken hasn't recorded much Mozart.

    I like period ensembles with a "dark" sound rather than the ensembles with a "bright" sound.

    This is a rule of thumb for me personally with period orchestras and repertoire:

    - For Baroque and Classical era repertoire up until late Haydn and late Mozart I prefer period to modern

    - For Beethoven I need both period and modern recordings.

    - For almost everything in music history that comes after Beethoven I prefer modern orchestras.

    I live in Denmark so my local heroes are Lars Ulrik Mortensen with Concerto Copenhagen - they have made many, many recordings over the years, but I much prefer to hear them live.
    "I only have a hunch in what I've become expert." - Leonard Cohen

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    Senior Member Ras's Avatar
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    John Butt and Dunedin Consort on the Linn label is a "rising star" on the period firmament.
    Their recordings of Handel's Messiah - Bach's B minor Mass and his Brandenburgs are some of my favorites. Definitely an ensemble to watch.
    "I only have a hunch in what I've become expert." - Leonard Cohen

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    In the early days of the period revival, I most liked the following groups:

    The Academy of Ancient Music
    The English Concert
    The English Baroque Soloists
    Linde Consort
    Kees Boeke Consort
    Leonhardt Consort
    Musica Antiqua Köln
    Aston Magna
    Les Arts Florissants
    Orchestra of the 18th Century
    Hesperion XX (...XXI)
    La Petite Bande (Haydn recordings)
    The Bach Ensemble
    Concentus Musicus Wien
    The King's Consort
    The Raglan Baroque Players
    Amsterdam Baroque Soloists
    La Chapelle Royale

    The London Classical Players should also be mentioned for their pioneering Beethoven recordings; as well as the Orchestra of the Drottingholm Court Theater for their pioneering Mozart opera series.

    While I retain a special fondness for those pioneering groups, in recent years, I've most liked the following ensembles:

    Montréal Baroque
    Ensemble Zefiro
    Arte dei Suonatori
    Gabrieli Consort
    Le Poème Harmonique
    Freiburger Barockorchester
    Accademia Bizantina
    Ensemble 415
    Cantus Cölln
    La Petite Symphonie
    Les Musiciens du Louvre
    Tafelmusik
    Anima Eterna
    Pygmalion
    Dunedin Consort
    Hofkapelle München
    Concerto Melante
    Ensemble Elyma
    Ricercar Consort, in recent years under Philippe Pierlot, though I'm not as keen on the group's earlier recordings.
    Philharmonia Baroque
    Il Complesso Barocco
    Arcangeli Baroque Strings
    Ensemble Plus Ultra
    Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca
    La Magnifica Comunità
    Orchestra of the Renaissance
    Il Giardino Armonico
    Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
    Venice Baroque Orchestra
    Gli Incogniti
    Il Fondamento
    Collegium 1704
    L'Arpeggiata
    Brecon Baroque
    FestpielOrchester Göttingen
    Orchestre Révolutionaire et Romantique
    Les Siècles

    & a selection of period chamber ensembles that I've liked (though many of the above groups perform chamber music as well):

    L' Ecole Orphee
    Quatour Mosäiques
    Schuppanzigh Quartet
    Trio 1790
    Convivium (formerly The Locatelli Trio)
    Ensemble Sonnerie
    The Mozartean Players
    L'Archibudelli
    Cuarteto Casals (period bows)
    Florilegium
    Brandywine Baroque
    Musica Pacifica

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    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    Looking at newer (to me) groups, I'd single out Elbopolis Barockorchester Hamburg for their recent Delalande release. I also enjoy the London Haydn Quartet for making Haydn that isn't Beethovenish.

    Looking back, Alberto Rasi made quite a few nice recordings with his group on Stradivarius, Accademia Strumentale Italiana. Sonatori de la Gioisa Marca has been innovative and fresh through several decades. And I often liked the Purcell Quartet and London Baroque as well. These groups didn't play quite as fast as others often have, or so it seems.

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    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josquin13 View Post
    In the early days of the period revival, I most liked the following groups:

    The Academy of Ancient Music
    The English Concert
    The English Baroque Soloists
    Linde Consort
    Kees Boeke Consort
    Leonhardt Consort
    Musica Antiqua Köln
    Aston Magna
    Les Arts Florissants
    Orchestra of the 18th Century
    Hesperion XX (...XXI)
    La Petite Bande (Haydn recordings)
    The Bach Ensemble
    Concentus Musicus Wien
    The King's Consort
    The Raglan Baroque Players
    Amsterdam Baroque Soloists
    La Chapelle Royale

    The London Classical Players should also be mentioned for their pioneering Beethoven recordings; as well as the Orchestra of the Drottingholm Court Theater for their pioneering Mozart opera series.

    While I retain a special fondness for those pioneering groups, in recent years, I've most liked the following ensembles:

    Montréal Baroque
    Ensemble Zefiro
    Arte dei Suonatori
    Gabrieli Consort
    Le Poème Harmonique
    Freiburger Barockorchester
    Accademia Bizantina
    Ensemble 415
    Cantus Cölln
    La Petite Symphonie
    Les Musiciens du Louvre
    Tafelmusik
    Anima Eterna
    Pygmalion
    Dunedin Consort
    Hofkapelle München
    Concerto Melante
    Ensemble Elyma
    Ricercar Consort, in recent years under Philippe Pierlot, though I'm not as keen on the group's earlier recordings.
    Philharmonia Baroque
    Il Complesso Barocco
    Arcangeli Baroque Strings
    Ensemble Plus Ultra
    Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca
    La Magnifica Comunità
    Orchestra of the Renaissance
    Il Giardino Armonico
    Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
    Venice Baroque Orchestra
    Gli Incogniti
    Il Fondamento
    Collegium 1704
    L'Arpeggiata
    Brecon Baroque
    FestpielOrchester Göttingen
    Orchestre Révolutionaire et Romantique
    Les Siècles

    & a selection of period chamber ensembles that I've liked (though many of the above groups perform chamber music as well):

    L' Ecole Orphee
    Quatour Mosäiques
    Schuppanzigh Quartet
    Trio 1790
    Convivium (formerly The Locatelli Trio)
    Ensemble Sonnerie
    The Mozartean Players
    L'Archibudelli
    Cuarteto Casals (period bows)
    Florilegium
    Brandywine Baroque
    Musica Pacifica
    Great list. I would also add L'Aura Soave for their Vivaldi's Concerti per Fagotto I,II,III recordings on Naive. I am now listening to Kuijken's Haydn recordings and I will order some of them.
    Last edited by JSBach85; Jul-10-2018 at 12:28.

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    "I am now listening to Kuijken's Haydn recordings and I will order some of them."

    They're excellent, & among the better recordings I've heard from Kuijken. I most enjoy the Japanese import set, which additionally includes the Paris Symphonies 82-87 that Kuijken recorded with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment: https://www.amazon.com/Haydn-London-...e+bande+import. Although you can buy the Paris Symphonies more inexpensively on a Virgin Veritas discount release: https://www.amazon.com/Haydn-Paris-S...Q4VCGQ3ND7GQ9S

    Thanks for the tip on the Vivaldi--no, I don't have those recordings, & will look into them.

    Have you heard this Vivaldi CD from Ensemble Zefiro?:
    https://www.amazon.com/Vivaldi-Conce...70_&dpSrc=srch. I bought it about a year ago and have enjoyed it.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Jul-10-2018 at 21:45.

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    I'd like to add Ensemble Marsyas to the mentioned above. Love their recording of "Apollo e Dafne" (an appropriate cantata for an ensemble with such a name).

    La Serenissima, another British ensemble, is also worth mentioning for their recordings of Italian baroque music.

    Collegium Cartusianum with Kölner Kammerchor - for Mozart's church music.
    Last edited by Moscow-Mahler; Jul-16-2018 at 08:49.

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