Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

The OSM garners its First ECHO Klassik Award for L'AIGLON


The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal is proud to announce that its complete recorded performance of L'Aiglon has won the ECHO Klassik, Germany's most esteemed classical music award, in the category "Opera recording (20th/21st century music)." The world premiere recording of this lyric drama by Honegger and Ibert marks the renewal of a historic partnership between the OSM and the prestigious Decca record company.

"We at the Orchestre symphonique de Montreal are deeply honored to have received the prestigious ECHO Klassik award. L'Aiglonrepresents a unique and historic work from the French operatic tradition," stated OSM music director Kent Nagano. "The recording project was born of the idea that through opera, the French language and its special lyric diction and vocal traditions are to be not only celebrated but preserved for future generations. We are profoundly grateful to ECHO Klassik for their recognition and share our heartfelt appreciation."

In addition to this important award, the L'Aiglon recording has won a Diapason d'or "Découverte" (March 2016) and was named SundayTimes Culture Magazine's "Classical Album of the Week" (Marc 2016),Res Musica's "La clef du mois" (March 2016) as well as BBC Radio 3's "Disc of the Week" (April 2016).

L'Aiglon was recorded in March 2015 on the occasion of its North American premiere, at Maison symphonique de Montréal. Under the direction of Kent Nagano, L'Aiglon brings together an outstanding cast of francophone singers, with Belgian soprano Anne-Catherine Gillet in the role of the Aiglon, Duke of Reichstadt; Québec baritone Étienne Dupuis as Metternich; and French baritone Marc Barrard as Flambeau. The cast also includes Philippe Sly, Pascal Charbonneau, Isaiah Bell, Tyler Duncan, Jean-Michel Richer, Hélène Guilmette, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Julie Bouliane and Kimy McLaren.

L'Aiglon is based on a play by Edmond Rostand dating from 1900, written for Sarah Bernhardt in the title role. The plot unfolds during the formational Viennese years of Napoléon II, Duke of Reichstadt, son and successor to Napoleon, and explores his role as a political pawn of the Austrian chancellor, Prince Metternich. Honegger and Ibert had qualms about taking on the project, but it seems they changed their minds one day when the car they were riding in together had a breakdown. Their music, accessible despite being technically refined, was very well received when the work was first produced, by the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, in March 1937.

Since its founding in 1934, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal has distinguished itself as a leader in the orchestral life of Canada and Québec. A cultural ambassador of the highest order, the Orchestra has acquired an enviable reputation internationally through the quality of its many recordings and tours. The OSM carries on that rich tradition under the leadership of its current music director, Kent Nagano, featuring innovative programming aimed at updating the orchestral repertoire and strengthening the Orchestra's connection with the community. Over the years the OSM has undertaken about 40 tours (the most recent took place between March 14 and 26, 2016, from coast to coast in the United States) and roughly 30 national and international excursions. The Orchestra has made more than 100 recordings, on the Decca, EMI, Philips, CBC Records, Analekta, ECM and Sony labels, as well as on its own label, which have earned it some 50 national and international awards.

The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal wishes to thank Ville de Montréal for its generous support.

The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal is presented by Hydro-Québec.

Related Articles View More Classical Music Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You