Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra

Biography

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 56 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    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  ... 
    CD: $108.99
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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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  ... 
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    CD: $63.99
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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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: $15.99
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  • 8.
    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: $43.99
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  • 9.
    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
    Recommendation
    CD: $21.99
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    Zamfir: Rhapsodie Du Printemps, Concerto No 1 / Zamfir Et Al
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412221 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gheorghe Zamfir
    Performer:  Gheorghe Zamfir
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 12.
    Christian Ferras Vol 1 - Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7880 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Christian Ferras
    Conductor:  Charles Bruck,  Carl Schuricht,  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  ORTF National Orchestra
    On sale! $38.98
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  • 13.
    Favourite Irish Songs Of Princess Grace / Robert White
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 90705 Release Date: 02/21/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Thomas Moore,  Charles Marshall,  Chauncey Olcott  ... 
    Performer:  Robert White
    Conductor:  Robin Stapleton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
    ArkivCD $17.99
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  • 14.
    Poulenc: The Works For Piano / Gabriel Tacchino
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 501363 Release Date: 01/13/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Gabriel Tacchino,  Bernard Ringeissen,  Jacques Février
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
    Recommendation
    ArkivCD $85.99
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  • 15.
    Enescu: Suites For Orchestra Nos 1 & 2 / Foster
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 75118 Release Date: 12/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Honegger: Monopartita, Les Ombres, Etc / Marius Constant
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 45862 Release Date: 12/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Honegger
    Conductor:  Marius Constant
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Enescu: Roumanian Poem, Roumanian Rhapsodies / Foster
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 75179 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 18.
    Enescu: Suite for Orchestra No. 3, Symphonia Concertante / Foster
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 75329 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Performer:  Jean Paul Barrellon,  Franco Maggio-Ormezowski
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Adagios Et Sérénades / Simion Stanciu Syrinx
    Label: Cascavelle   Catalog: 3109 Release Date: 11/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Simion Stanciu Syrinx
    Conductor:  Claude Schnitzler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Koechlin: Seven Stars Symphony, Ballade / Rigutto, Myrat
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 64369 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Koechlin
    Performer:  Bruno Rigutto,  Françoise Pellié
    Conductor:  Alexander Myrat
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 21.
    D'Indy: Poéme des rivages, Diptyque méditerranéen / Prêtre
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 63954 Release Date: 09/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincent D'Indy
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
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    ArkivCD $17.99
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  • 22.
    Petitgirard: Concertos For String Instruments / Dumay, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557602 Release Date: 07/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Laurent Petitgirard
    Performer:  Gérard Caussé,  Gary Hoffman,  Augustin Dumay
    Conductor:  Laurent Petitgirard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bordeaux Aquitaine Orchestra,  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cracow Polish Radio/TV Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $12.99
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  • 23.
    Airs D'opéras Français / Blake, Fournillier, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55058 Release Date: 05/18/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Léo Delibes,  Georges Bizet,  Adolphe Adam  ... 
    Performer:  Rockwell Blake
    Conductor:  Patrick Fournillier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
    ArkivCD $17.99
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  • 24.
    Debussy: Fall of the House of Usher / Pretre
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 47921 Release Date: 04/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  André Caplet,  Florent Schmitt
    Performer:  Jean-Philippe Lafont,  François Le Roux,  Pierre-Yves le Maigat
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Musiques À Orsay - Debussy, Etc
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 4919 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Georges Bizet,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Martine Olmeda,  Maryse Castets,  Béatrice Uria-Monzon,  Hüseyin Sermet  ... 
    Conductor:  Manuel Rosenthal,  Alain Lombard,  Laurence Equilbey,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bordeaux Aquitaine Orchestra,  Accentus  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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