Harmonia Early Music

Jordi Savall and Music for a French King

Savall directs Les Concert des Nations in music for the orchestras of Louis XIII and XIV, as well as works from the time of Louis XV.

Les Concert des Nations

Photo: Courtesy of the Ensemble

Jordi Savall and Les Concert des Nations in performance.

Throughout his career, Jordi Savall has been a passionate champion of early French music—as a soloist, director, and ensemble member—especially on the Alia Vox label. One of the more remarkable recordings from the repertoire is entitled “Orchestra of Louis XIII,” which covers the era before the “Sun King” and surveys the various kinds of instrumental music heard at court. The music looks back at the Renaissance while beginning to settle into the Baroque.

Anonymous: Les Ameriquains
Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall — Orchestra of Louis XIII (Alia Vox , 2002)
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For Savall’s venture into orchestral music from the court of Louis XIV, the program naturally called for dance music by Jean-Baptiste Lully, the king’s favorite composer, and in particular, music from a few of his more prominent theater collaborations. The ensemble Les Concert des Nations brings out the spirit of the music with flair and poetry.

Jean-Baptiste Lully: Chaconne des Scaramouches, Trivelins, et Arlequins
Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall — L'Orchestre du Roi Soleil [“Orchestra of the Sun King”] (Alia Vox , 1999)
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The most recent Jordi Savall recording to feature early music from France is devoted to the Concert Spirituel, a special concert series founded in Paris during the reign of Louis XV. The program focuses on three immensely popular composers heard throughout the life of the series, including Arcangelo Corelli, Jean-Philippe Rameau, and Georg Philipp Telemann. Savall not only directs, but appears as soloists in a vibrant performance of Telemann’s “Ouverture and Suite in D major for viola da gamba and strings.”

Arcangelo Corelli: Concerto Grosso in D major, op. 6, no.4, II. Allegro
Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall — “Le Concert Spirituel [from] the Time of Louis XV” (Alia Vox , 2010)
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Anonymous: Les Ameriquains
Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall — Orchestra of Louis XIII (Alia Vox , 2002)
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album cover
Anonymous: Libertas
Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall — Orchestra of Louis XIII (Alia Vox , 2002)
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Jean-Baptiste Lully: Chaconne des Scaramouches, Trivelins, et Arlequins
Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall — L'Orchestre du Roi Soleil [“Orchestra of the Sun King”] (Alia Vox , 1999)
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album cover
Jean-Baptiste Lully: 1er Air des Espagnols – Sarabande
Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall — L'Orchestre du Roi Soleil [“Orchestra of the Sun King”] (Alia Vox , 1999)
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Arcangelo Corelli: Concerto Grosso in D major, op. 6, no.4, II. Allegro
Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall — “Le Concert Spirituel [from] the Time of Louis XV” (Alia Vox , 2010)
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album cover
Georg Philipp Telemann: Overture & Suite in D major for viola da gamba and strings, TWV 55:D6, VI. Courante and Double
Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall — “Le Concert Spirituel [from] the Time of Louis XV” (Alia Vox , 2010)
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album cover
Bernard Gordillo

Bernard Gordillo was born in Managua, Nicaragua, and raised in New Orleans. He holds degrees from Centenary College of Louisiana, the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Bernard also writes and hosts the Harmonia Early Music Podcast.

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