The French took a while to embrace period-performance practice, and it took the American William Christie to show them the – very stylish – way, but a generation or two on and François-Xavier Roth founded his group Les Siècles in 2003, drawing on a huge pool of talented players, to reinvent the orchestral concert and to tackle a wide range of music from the Baroque to the 20th century. Their recordings of the Stravinsky ballets opened many ears and this year saw them tackle some more Diaghilev-inspired fare, Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé with a follow-up of shorter Ravel works including Le tombeau de Couperin, equally successfully and innovative. They also partnered Sabine Devieilhe with consummate style and a breathtaking range of colour on her lovely recital, ‘Mirages’.
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