In the 1780s, the concert society Le Concert de la Loge Olympique, based in Paris, was founded by two music-loving citizens. The orchestra was considered one of the best in all of Europe and commissioned Joseph Haydn to compose the so-called "Paris Symphonies." In 1789, this concert society ceased its activities in the turmoil of the beginning French Revolution. In 2015, on the initiative of violinist Julien Chauvin, a historically informed orchestra was created and christened with the same name in honor of its historical predecessor. However, after a bizarre trademark-related legal dispute with the French National Olympic Committee, the ensemble soon had to abandon the "Olympique" in its name. However, the 30 or so musicians of the orchestra, which now operates in abbreviated form as Concert de la Loge, did not allow themselves to be diverted from the trail of their historical role models. "The center of our repertoire is the classical period, and specifically the French classical period, which has received less attention from original sound ensembles than the Baroque period, for example," says Concert de la Loge director Julien Chauvin, referring to one of the most exciting chapters in Parisian music history, defined by composers such as Henri-Joseph Rigel, Marie-Alexandre Guénin and Louis-Charles Rague, who are now completely forgotten. A five-part album series by the Concert de la Loge, launched in 2016, aims to remedy this situation.
In addition to the commendable cultivation of forgotten French composers, the orchestra also takes on such greats as Josef Haydn, by whom, among other things, several symphonies and instrumental concertos have already been recorded and received critical praise. In addition, the small orchestra has become the preferred accompaniment group for baroque stars such as Philippe Jaroussky and Sandrine Piau. The special sound of Le Concert de la Loge, softer and more wooden than that of most contemporary ensembles, without the percussive rasp and clatter of Les Talens Lyriques or Il Pomo d'Oro, has been praised. It is, then, the sonic character of Le Concert de la Loge that makes Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3, the Jupiter Symphony, and the Overture to Le nozze di Figaro stop and take over on the latest album.
For the rest, under the direction of Julien Chauvin, who is also the soloist in the violin concerto, the music-making is brisk and committed, technically at a high level. The approach to the violin concerto in this recording, in its rather restrained illumination of the score, takes a bit of getting used to after having heard Giuliano Carmignola, for example. The orchestra and conductor act with greater depth and thus more convincingly in the purely orchestral Mozart pieces, which are clearly the album's highlights. In any case, the French musicians' view of Mozart represents an interesting alternative to that of the competition from other historically informed ensembles. The successful recording technique of this download does the rest to make the Mozart album by Le Concert de la Loge recommendable, which even without the "Olympic" in the name of the 18th century concert society Le Concert de la Loge Olympique comes across as clearly more Olympic than the apparently strangely small-minded French National Olympic Committee.
Le Concert de la Loge
Julien Chauvin, violin, conductor