Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra



Active: Monte Carlo, Monaco -
The Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra is the oldest permanently established orchestra in the French-speaking world, with a rich history of important premieres and a reputation for continuing high quality under a succession of great conductors.

Monte Carlo is the main town in Monaco, a small enclave on the French Riviera which has held on to its political identity since before the twelfth century. The Grimaldi family (the Guelphs) won its
Read more independence from the court of Genoa in the thirteenth century and has ruled the country, a principality, since then. However, there are long periods in its history when it was dominated or was a protectorate of various powers, most notably the House of Savoy, the Dukes of Milan, Spain, the Count of Provence, and France. The history of music there is primarily a function of who exercised power there, and the taste of the local ruler.

In 1641, Prince Honoré II passed from Spanish to French protection and as a result of his visits to Versailles brought in French dancing-masters and musicians. Les entretiens de Diane et d'Apollon (1654), a court ballet, is the first known Monagasque classical work. Prince Antoine I (reigned 1701-1731), a pupil of Lully, particularly encouraged music.

Monte Carlo itself was founded in 1858 in response to a favorable shift in the region's economy and quickly became a leading resort destination. Prince Florestan authorized the opening of the famous Casino in 1862 and adopted a policy of supporting arts and entertainment en support of the tourist trade.

The nation's permanent orchestra was founded in 1863 to give concerts in the Casino. A concert hall was built in 1872. The principality built its magnificent opera house, the Palais Garnier (designed by the same architect as the Paris Opéra's venerable house) in 1879, and the orchestra was brought in to serve at its productions. Over the years its chief conductors have included such great names as Paul Paray (1928-1944), Louis Frémaux (1956-1965), Lovro von Matacic, Igor Markevitch, and Lawrence Foster, appointed in 1980 and to be succeeded by Gianluigi Gelmetti. Its list of guest conductors is star-studded, including Richard Strauss, Arturo Toscanini, Lorin Maazel, Leonard Bernstein, and many others.

Over forty-five operas have been premiered there, including Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortiléges, Saint-Saëns' Hélène, the first staged production of Berlioz' Le Damnation de Faust, Puccini's La Rondine, and Fauré's Pénélope, as well as the first French-language staging of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.

From before World War I until the 1930s, the Monte Carlo Opera was also the site of the Ballets Russe de Monte Carlo, so that the orchestra also participated in the creation of some of the greatest works in the twentieth-century ballet repertory. Over the years it produced many great recordings.

The orchestra was officially named the "National Orchestra of the Monte Carlo Opera House" in 1953, and renamed the "Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra" in 1979. (It is still often referred to as the "Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra" when discussed in connection with its playing for the opera house stage, including the opera and the Monte Carlo Ballet (which was revived by Princess Caroline in memory of her mother, Princess Grace, whose dream it was to restore that tradition).

The orchestra comprises eighty-seven members and works a full schedule. Its recordings include several honored by many major recording prizes. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 81 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Fantasies, Rhapsodies & Daydreams / Steinbacher, Foster, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: PTC5186536 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Waxman,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Arabella Steinbacher
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Autograph – Jose van Dam
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564619049 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Hector Berlioz,  Jacques Ibert,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  José Van Dam,  Rosalind Plowright,  Jean-Philippe Collard,  Dalton Baldwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Sylvain Cambreling,  Kent Nagano,  Michel Plasson,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Lyon Opera Orchestra,  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $46.98
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  • 3.
    Darius Milhaud - Une Vie Heureuse [10-CD Set]
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 634844 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Darius Milhaud
    Performer:  Michel Béroff,  Jean-Philippe Collard,  Noel Lee,  Christian Ivaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Georges Prêtre,  Georges Tzipine,  Darius Milhaud  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
    On sale! $106.98
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  • 4.
    Erato - 50 CD Collection
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 46441 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Pierre Pierlot,  Paul Hongne,  Jacques Chambon  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jean-François Paillard,  Frigyes Sándor,  Kent Nagano  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Soloists  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
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  • 5.
    Voices of French Opera [5-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 280462 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean-Baptiste Lully,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Christoph W. Gluck,  André Modeste Grétry  ... 
    Performer:  Véronique Gens,  Miguel Villabella,  Solange Petit-Renaux,  Patricia Petibon  ... 
    Conductor:  Christophe Rousset,  Maurice Cauchie,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Henri Tomasi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Talens Lyriques,  Les Folies Françoises,  Monteverdi Choir  ... 
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  • 6.
    Top 50 Favourite Classical Chillout Tunes
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94659 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Antonín Dvorák,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Klára Würtz,  Sara Crombach,  Wladislav Warenberg,  Alexander Goldenweiser  ... 
    Conductor:  Dirk Vermeulen,  Paavo Järvi,  Roy Goodman,  Gil Sharon  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prima La Musica,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Hanover Band  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 7.
    Poulenc: Complete Works [20-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 972165 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Gabriel Tacchino,  Jacques Février,  Emmanuel Strosser,  Xavier Phillips  ... 
    Conductor:  François Boulanger,  Georges Prêtre,  John Alldis,  Harry Christophers  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Garde Républicaine Soloists Ensemble,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Ambrosian Chorus  ... 
    CD: $58.99
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  • 8.
    Mahler: Symphonie No. 5 / Kreizberg, Monte Carlo Philharmonic
    Label: Opmc Classics   Catalog: 6 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Yakov Kreizberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 9.
    Enescu: Oedipe / Foster, Van Dam, Bacquier, Vanaud, Gedda, Hauptmann
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48275 Release Date: 04/03/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Performer:  Laurence Albert,  Jocelyne Taillon,  Gino Quilico,  John Aler  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orféon Donostiarra,  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Les Petits Chanteurs de Monaco
    CD: $24.99
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  • 10.
    Enescu: Three Symphonies, Violin Sonata No 3 / Foster, Sokolov, Kosenko
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6783932 Release Date: 02/07/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Performer:  Valeriy Sokolov,  Svetlana Kosenko
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Orchestra,  Les Elements Chamber Choir,  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 11.
    Sumi Jo - The Erato Recitals
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 666373 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Léo Delibes,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Sumi Jo,  Anne Maugue,  Vincenzo Scalera,  Michael Davis  ... 
    Conductor:  Paolo Olmi,  Armin Jordan,  Kenneth Montgomery,  Giuliano Carella  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris Ensemble,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $44.49
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  • 12.
    Classical Hits Of The Cinema
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 30756 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gustav Mahler,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Frank Peter Zimmermann,  Piotr Anderszewski,  Christian Zacharias
    Conductor:  Paul Bateman,  Lorin Maazel,  Andrew Litton,  Piotr Anderszewski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 13.
    I Love Ballet
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 0842152 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Louis Ferdinand Herold,  Aram Khachaturian,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Arthur Sullivan  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Yuri Temirkanov,  André Previn,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    Best Waltzes & Polkas 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80455 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jacques Offenbach,  Charles Gounod,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Conductor:  Willi Boskovsky,  Manuel Rosenthal,  Herbert von Karajan,  Jean-Baptiste Mari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Johann Strauss Orchestra Vienna,  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 15.
    Poeme - Chausson, Respighi, Suk, Vaughan Williams / Julia Fischer
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001553502 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ottorino Respighi,  Josef Suk,  Ernest Chausson,  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Julia Fischer
    Conductor:  Yakov Kreizberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $21.99
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  • 16.
    Essential Ballet
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 48650 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Léon Fyodorovich Minkus,  Louis Ferdinand Herold,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Philippe Collard
    Conductor:  John Lanchbery,  Robert Irving,  Barry Wordsworth,  André Previn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 17.
    French Ballets - Gaite Parisienne, Les Biches, The Two Pigeons, Les Patineurs
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48656 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Francis Poulenc,  André Messager,  Giacomo Meyerbeer
    Conductor:  Manuel Rosenthal,  Georges Prêtre,  John Lanchbery,  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers  ... 
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  • 18.
    Paganini: Violin Concertos Nos. 2 & 5 / Alexandre Dubach, Monte Carlo Philharmonic
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 93992 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini
    Performer:  Alexandre Dubach
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 19.
    Dance! - The World's Favorite Ice-Skating Music
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 58906 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jerry Herman,  Frédéric Chopin,  Vittorio Monti,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  John Ogdon,  Vag Papian,  Maxim Vengerov,  Tasmin Little  ... 
    Conductor:  Julian Kelly,  Yuri Temirkanov,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Matt Dunkley  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Piccadilly Theatre Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 20.
    Marc-andre Dalbavie: Janacek Variations; Rocks Under The Water; Sinfonietta
    Label: Ameson   Catalog: 711 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marc-André Dalbavie
    Conductor:  Marc-André Dalbavie
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    A Festival Of Ballet
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67063 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Holst,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Hendricks,  Susan Bickley,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Catherine Pierard  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe,  André Previn,  Paavo Järvi,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $76.99
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  • 22.
    I Love Ballet
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 67020 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Léo Delibes,  Sir William Walton,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Conductor:  John Lanchbery,  Jean-Baptiste Mari,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  André Previn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Paris Opéra Comique Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 23.
    Wagner: Parsifal / Jordan, Goldberg, Minton, Schone, Lloyd,  Monte Carlo Philharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4687525 Release Date: 10/12/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Reiner Goldberg,  Yvonne Minton,  Robert Lloyd,  Wolfgang Schöne
    Conductor:  Armin Jordan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Prague Philharmonic Chorus
    CD: $39.99
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  • 24.
    Best Tenor Voices 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 06701 Release Date: 10/06/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Corinna Vozza,  Adriana Lazzarini,  Rolando Villazón  ... 
    Conductor:  Gabriele Santini,  Marcello Viotti,  Umberto Berrettoni,  Alain Lombard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 25.
    Mendelssohn Edition, Vol. 5 - Keyboard & Chamber Works
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4692674 Release Date: 07/13/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Annie D’arco,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Olivier Charlier,  Maxim Vengerov  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fontenay Trio,  Kreuzberger String Quartet,  Éder String Quartet  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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