Ha! That's definitely another one. I'm glad I wasn't imagining it. Thank you too, manni. (-:
But that said, I associate those early-music groups with maybe indeed a higher proportion of winds to strings, and even some of the more colorful wind textures, more reeds, etc., and sometimes also percussion -- so they might actually sound more band-like, so to speak.
In contrast, I think of Marriner's orchestra as actually mostly modern-style performance rather than period, with a more modern, lusher string sound and strings tending to dominate more. So in that sense, I still agree with escoville that the word seems out of place in the obit.
Though again, all those style differences are relative, and were more pronounced a few decades ago than they are now, when most modern-instrument ensembles have just adopted many of the principles of period style as a matter of course.