Le Concert Français
Linked by a shared passion for Baroque music and the musicological research associated with it, a group of friends came together in the 1980s around the Hantaï brothers to explore the repertoire to which they were so attached. The year 1986 saw the official birth of Le Concert Français, which honed its performing skills with the help of Frans Brüggen. Alongside Pierre, Marc and Jérôme Hantaï were the musicians François Fernandez, Florence Malgoire, Ryo Terakado, Ageet Zweistra, Simon Heyerick and Jean-Marc Forest, all of them acknowledged in the Baroque world as brilliant interpreters. Le Concert Français, a flexibly sized ensemble, devoted its activities chiefly to the eighteenth-century concertante repertoire, ensuring transparency of texture and individual eloquence through the use of reduced forces. The ensemble soon met with success: regarded as bringing together some of the finest musicians of their generation, it was invited to the principal festivals and venues where Baroque music is celebrated. This activity also led to a series of recordings, quickly singled out for attention by the specialised press, which acclaimed the group’s interpretations of Mozart harpsichord concertos and concertos by Corelli (on the Opus 111 label) and confirmed its reputation with the release of a CD of Bach harpsichord concertos on Astrée- Auvidis. After suspending its activities for some years while the individual members of the ensemble devoted themselves to their busy solo careers, Le Concert Français has recently been re-formed on the initiative of its founder Pierre Hantaï: two concerts at La Roque d’Anthéron in 2004 marked the first appearance of the new line-up. This renewal has also meant the transformation of what was originally a chamber group into a small orchestra specialising in the orchestral music of Bach.