Taking its name from a 1726 set of trio sonatas by François Couperin
, Le Concert des Nations is a period-instrument orchestra of young musicians from mostly Latin countries, standing in contrast to the proliferation of period instrument ensembles in Northern Europe and England.
The orchestra was founded in 1989 by gambist Jordi Savall
, who is also the group's conductor. The orchestra has recorded a varied repertoire spanning the 17th to 19th centuries. Its first recordings featured Charpentier
's Canticum ad Beatam Virginem Mariam, Bach
's orchestral suites and Brandenburg Concertos, and Haydn
's Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross. Its operatic repertoire includes Martín y Soler
's Una cosa rara and Il burbero di buon cuore and Monteverdi
's L'Orfeo. Under the baton of Savall
, Le Concert des Nations has explored late 18th and early 19th century music, such as Mozart
's Requiem and Beethoven
's "Eroica" Symphony. Its recording of Handel
's Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks was awarded an RTL prize in 1994. The orchestra's concerts and recordings have brought to light several more obscure composers, including Spaniard JC Arriaga
. Le Concert des Nations is the orchestra of La Capella Reial de Catalunya
and is sponsored by the government of Catalonia.