La Petite Bande

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La Petite Bande is a Belgium-based ensemble specialising in Baroque music played on period instruments. They are particularly known for their recordings of works by Corelli, Rameau, Handel, and Bach.[1][2]

History[edit]

Jean-Baptiste Lully (holding the violin) surrounded by musicians at the court of Louis XIV. La Petite Bande takes its name from Lully's orchestra, La Petite Bande des Violons du Roi. (Painting by François Puget, 1688.)

The ensemble was brought together in 1972 by Sigiswald Kuijken, originally for the one-off purpose of recording Lully's comédie-ballet, Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, conducted by Gustav Leonhardt for the Deutsche Harmonia Mundi label. The ensemble was given its name from Lully's Petite Bande des Violons du Roi, an orchestra of 21 string players at the court of Louis XIV.[3] The nucleus of the original group was the Leonhardt Consort along with Sigiswald Kuijken and his brothers Wieland and Barthold.[4] Following the recording, the group continued to give concerts throughout Europe and became a permanent ensemble based in Leuven with Kuijken as director. Their initial repertoire concentrated on French Baroque music, but soon branched out into Italian and German composers, including Corelli, Handel and Bach. They also branched out from the Baroque to the Classical period with performances and recordings of works by Mozart and Haydn. The ensemble's 1982 recording of Haydn's The Creation was the first time the work had been recorded using period instruments.[5] Their UK debut was at the 1982 BBC Proms, with a concert of pieces by Bach, Handel, and Rameau. The critic Barry Millington described the performance in The Musical Times:

The group has an endearing attitude of indifference to concert platform ritual: each player is dressed for a different occasion. But there is nothing casual about their playing: this is some of the best-disciplined Baroque playing to be heard today.[6]

La Petite Bande's recordings of operatic rarities during their first ten years include Rameau's Zoroastre, Zaïs, and Pigmalion as well as Campra's L'Europe galante and Grétry's Le jugement de Midas. From 2006 to 2012, the ensemble has largely concentrated on Bach, especially his cantatas with the goal of recording a complete liturgical year,[7] but also his St John Passion, St Matthew Passion and Mass in B minor. Singers in these projects, each part sung by one singer, have included sopranos Gerlinde Sämann, Barbara Schlick, Elisabeth Scholl and Siri Thornhill, altos René Jacobs and Petra Noskaiová, tenors Christoph Genz, Christoph Prégardien and Marcus Ullmann, and basses Jan van der Crabben, Max van Egmond and Harry van der Kamp.

On 2 February 2009, Sigiswald Kuijken was awarded the Prize for Cultural Merit by the Belgian government.[8] The following day, the advisory committee of the Ministry of Culture recommended that La Petite Bande's 600,000 euro annual subsidy be removed. Kuijken's students started an internet petition to save the subsidy which received 21,000 signatures.[9] The Minister of Culture at the time, Bert Anciaux, ignored the advice of the committee and restored the subsidy until 2012 (reduced to 590,000 euro). The ensemble has since started a charitable foundation, Support La Petite Bande, to make up the shortfall.[9] Some funding was subsequently granted for 2013 to 2016.

In 2011, Kuijken decided to leave the future direction of the ensemble to younger musicians and chose the organist Benjamin Alard to direct a new Handel project which began in April 2013.[10]

Discography[edit]

  • 1973 – J. LullyLe Bourgeois Gentilhomme – DHM
  • 1974 – A. CampraL'Europe Galante (extracts) – DHM
  • 1975 – G. Muffat – Suites en Concerti Grossi – DHM
  • 1977 – A. Corelli – Concerti Grossi Op. 6, nrs. 1–4 – DHM
  • 1978 – A. Corelli – Concerti Grossi Op. 6, nrs. 6–12 – DHM
  • 1978 – J.-P. RameauZaïs – WDR/Stil
  • 1979 – J.-P. Rameau – Suite from Hippolyte et Aricie – DHM
  • 1980 – A. VivaldiQuattro Stagioni – RCA/Seon
  • 1980 – G. F. HandelPartenope – WDR/DHM
  • 1981 – A. E. M. GrétryLe Jugement de Midas (extracts) – WDR/Ricercar
  • 1981 – J.-P. Rameau – Pygmalion – WDR/DHM
  • 1982 – J. S. Bach – Orchestral Suites (Overtures) BWV 1066–1069 – WDR/DHM
  • 1982 – J. S. Bach – Violinkonzerte BWV 1041–1043 – WDR/DHM
  • 1983 – J. HaydnDie Schöpfung
  • 1984 – C.W. GluckOrfeo ed Euridice
  • 1984 – J.-P. Rameau – Zoroastre – WDR/DHM
  • 1985 – G. F. Handel – Alessandro – WDR/DHM
  • 1986 – J. S. Bach – Mass in B minor – WDR/DHM
  • 1986 – W. A. MozartDavide penitente K. 469 / Ave Verum Corpus K. 618 – WDR/DHM
  • 1987 – C. P. E. BachDie Letzten Leiden des Erlösers – WDR/DHM
  • 1987 – W. A. Mozart – Requiem (Live recording)
  • 1987 – W. A. Mozart – Flute Concertos – WDR/DHM
  • 1988 – J. Haydn – L'Infedelta DelusaWDR/DHM
  • 1988 – J. S. Bach – St John Passion BWV 245 – WDR/DHM
  • 1988 – W. A. Mozart – Concert arias – Virgin Classics
  • 1989 – J. Haydn – Symphonies 25, 52, 53 – Virgin Classics
  • 1989 – J. Haydn – Symphonies 90, 91 – Virgin Classics
  • 1989 – J. S. Bach – Magnificat – Virgin Classics
  • 1990 – J. Haydn – The Seasons – Virgin Classics
  • 1990 – J. S. Bach – St Matthew Passion – BMG/DHM
  • 1992 – J. Haydn – Symphonies 88, 89, 92 – Virgin Classics
  • 1993 – J. Haydn – Symphonies 93, 94, 95 – BMG/DHM
  • 1993 – J. S. Bach – Brandenburg Concertos I–VI – BMG/DHM
  • 1993 – J. S. Bach – Motetten BWV 225–230
  • 1993 – W. A. Mozart – Così fan tutte (live recording)
  • 1994 – J. Haydn – Symphonies 96, 97, 98 – BMG/DHM
  • 1994 – J. S. Bach – Kantaten 49, 58, 82
  • 1995 – J. Haydn – Harmoniemesse/Te Deum – BMG/DHM
  • 1995 – J. Haydn – Symphonies 99, 100, 101 – BMG/DHM
  • 1996 – J. Haydn – Symphonies 102, 103, 104 – DHM
  • 1996 – W. A. Mozart – Don Giovanni (Live recording)
  • 1996 – W. A. Mozart – Sinfonia Concertante K. 364, Violin Concerto K. 216 – Denon
  • 1997 – G. B. PergolesiLa Serva Padrona/Livieta e Tracollo
  • 1997 – J. Lully – Concert de Danse – Charpentier, Rebel
  • 1997 – W. A. Mozart – Violin Concerts K. 218–219 – Denon
  • 1998 – W. A. Mozart – Violin Concerts K. 207–211 Concertone K. 190 – Denon
  • 1999 – J. Haydn – Cello Concertos D major and C major – DHM
  • 1999 – W. A. Mozart – Le nozze di Figaro
  • 2000 – H. SchützWeihnachtshistorie – DHM
  • 2001 – J. S. Bach – Mass in B minor BWV 232 – Urtext
  • 2002 – J. S. Bach – Cantatas BWV 9, 94, 187 – Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (DHM)
  • 2002 – W. A. Mozart – Arias & Duets – DHM
  • 2003 – C. P. E. BachDie Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt JesuHyperion
  • 2004 – J. G. GraunDer Tod Jesu
  • 2004 – J. S. Bach – Motets BWV 225–229
  • 2005 – J. S. Bach – Cantatas Vol.1 BWV 98, 180, 56, 55
  • 2005 – W. A. Mozart – Die Zauberflöte
  • 2006 – J. S. Bach – Cantatas Vol. 2 BWV 177, 93, 135
  • 2006 – J. S. Bach – Cantatas Vol. 3 BWV 82, 178, 102
  • 2007 – W.A. Mozart – Cassations K. 63 – K. 99 and Divertimento K. 205
  • 2007 – J. S. Bach – Cantatas Vol. 4 BWV 16, 153, 65, 154
  • 2007 – J. S. Bach – Cantatas Vol. 5 BWV 179, 35, 164, 17
  • 2008 – C. MonteverdiVespro della Beata Vergine SV 206
  • 2008 – J. S. Bach – Cantatas Vol. 7 BWV 20, 2, 10
  • 2009 – J. S. Bach – Mass in B minor BWV 232
  • 2009 – J. S. Bach – Cantatas Vol. 10 BWV 108, 86, 11, 4
  • 2009 – J. S. Bach – Cantatas Vol. 8 BWV 13, 73, 81, 144
  • 2009 – J. S. Bach – Cantatas Vol. 9 BWV 61, 36, 62, 132
  • 2010 – J. S. Bach – Brandenburg Concertos BWV 1047–1051
  • 2010 – J. S. Bach – St Matthew Passion BWV 243
  • 2010 – J. S. Bach – Cantatas Vol. 11 BWV 67, 9, 12
  • 2010 – J. S. Bach – Cantatas Vol. 12 BWV 138, 27, 47, 99
  • 2011 – Vivaldi – Flute concertos
  • 2011 – J. S. Bach – Cantatas Vol. 13 BWV 249, 6
  • 2011 – J. S. Bach – Cantatas Vol. 14 BWV 91, 57, 151, 122
  • 2012 – D. BuxtehudeMembra Jesu Nostri BuxWV75
  • 2012 – J. S. Bach – St John Passion
  • 2012 – J. S. Bach – Cantatas Vol. 15 BWV 52, 60, 116, 140
  • 2012 – J. Haydn – Die Tageszeiten (Diapason d'or)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kenyon, p. 50.
  2. ^ Littler, p. D18.
  3. ^ Kemp, p. 21; Chapin, p. 244.
  4. ^ Watchorn, p. 18.
  5. ^ Kemp, p. 22; Anon., p. 42. For a review of the recording see Fiske, p. 55.
  6. ^ Millington, p. 706.
  7. ^ Clements.
  8. ^ De Standaard.
  9. ^ a b Het Nieuwsblad.
  10. ^ Knack.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]