Recorded live at the Edinburgh International Festival, with the late Sir Charles Mackerras.Read More
Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers is one of the towering musical achievements of the 17th century. A fascinating and rewarding musical experience, it is deeply spiritual, yet extraordinarily theatrical.Read More
Love the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment? Curious about what goes on behind the scenes? Become part of the OAE family by joining OAE Friends today.Read More
We’re very excited to announce that The Night Shift will be returning to the Roundhouse in Camden as part of their 2012 Reverb festival on 24 February 2012.
After a sell-out performance at Reverb 2010, The Night Shift returns to the Roundhouse to open this year’s festival with one of our most ambitious projects to date. The 90 piece Orchestra conducted by one of the legends of the classical music world, Sir Mark Elder, will recreate the raw and revolutionary sounds of 19th century Paris in Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet. All in the radical and contemporary atmosphere of The Night Shift– classical music: minus the rules.Read More
On Friday 21 October we’ll be at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, celebrating the music of Haydn, but also of his lesser known contempories: Boccherini and Salomon. Ahead of the concert, here’s a taster into the life and times of Johann Peter Salomon.Read More
Here’s a few pictures from our Night Shift event at the Southbank Centre at the end of September.
Apologies for the delay- we’ve had a very busy few weeks, launching our new concert series, The Works, and launching this new website!
You can view the full set (all taken by Joe Plommer) over on The Night Shift’s Facebook page or on Flickr.Read More
His times: Weber’s Germany was shaped by war and upheavals both social and intellectual. In that context, Weber had to chart a careful course between the demands of emerging middle class audiences, existing aristocratic patrons and influential musical theorists. One result of that was the composer’s quest to educate the former by including vernacular styles including waltzes and folksongs in his music.Read More
His times: Felix Mendelssohn was born into a privileged family at a time when creativity was in vogue: young, talented men were encouraged to travel and drink in the inspiration of foreign climes. Mendelssohn’s ‘grand tour’ prompted his links with the UK; he was a frequent visitor here (he had a particular penchant for Birmingham) and became well acquainted with society figures including Queen Victoria and Isambard Kingdom Brunel.Read More
His times: The central change in Joseph Haydn’s career prophesised the big transformation in store for composers in the 19th century. He spent nearly three decades in the service of one aristocratic Austro-Hungarian family, while building a reputation abroad via the distribution of published works. When his services at court were suddenly dispensed with, Haydn found himself working freelance – and it turned out rather well.Read More
His times: Or perhaps ‘his place’ would be a better starting point, because Franz Schubert is the only leading19th-century composer stylistically associated with the city of Vienna who was actually born there. But he wasn’t part of the city’s cultural elite; he struggled with poverty and was physically weak, dogged by illness until his untimely death aged just 31. Mercifully, from 1817 onwards – the year he quit his inherited teaching profession to concentrate on composition – Schubert was nothing short of prolific.Read More
His times: In Mozart’s Austria, musicians were servants – usually employed in the service of an aristocratic family for the performance and provision of music for aristocratic consumption. Mozart’s impulsive creativity famously jarred against this feudal order, and in the long term he arguably helped to destroy it. For all its perfection, Mozart’s music would become increasingly complex, outspoken and restless as his life progressed; his late symphonies paved the way for Beethoven’s social and musical upheavals while his last opera, The Magic Flute, was written not for the court opera but a suburban pay-on-the-door theatre on the outskirts of Vienna.Read More
It’s that time of year again, the start of a new London season. And that means that it’s also time for our staff picks of the year. Here’s what we’re all looking forward to – some definite themes emerging. Players pics will follow tomorrow!
“I’m really excited about the opening concert this season on 29 September- featuring the ever-excitable and amazing pianist, Robert Levin. After seeing him perform at the Night Shift back in February 2008 (the first concert I worked at as an official member of OAE staff (!)), it’s going to be fabulous seeing him direct another of Mozart’s Piano Concertos- he’s got such a passionate and energetic way of presenting pieces- which always comes across really well on stage, especially in the more informal, relaxed atmosphere of the Night Shift. Can’t wait!!”
Natasha Stehr, Press and Marketing Officer
“It’s the opening concert that is going to do it for me! Weber’s magical Der Freischütz Overture; Mozart’s exhilarating A major Piano Concerto with the incomparable Robert Levin; and Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony which I can never tire of listening to, not just for the attractions of the music but because of the story behind it: Mendelssohn’s journey through Scotland in 1829, aged 20, made so vivid through his sketches and the letters that he wrote about his experiences, and the very specific moment when the opening theme came to him during his visit to the ruined chapel of Holyrood Palace (pictured below)” info/tickets
Stephen Carpenter, Chief Executive
“Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet (18 February). I’ve loved Romeo and Juliet as a subject matter ever since yr 9 (age 13) when I spent nearly an entire year of English classes getting to grips with Shakespeare for the first time. I’ve since been fascinated about all the various takes on the story covered by so many art forms and composers from Berlioz to Bernstein (something we’ll look into much more detail at this years study day). I can’t wait to hear Berlioz’s almighty (there are 4 harps!!!) version.” info/tickets
Ceri Jones, Projects Director
“I’m most looking forward to the next Night Shift (29 Sep). After experiencing the format for the first time at the ‘mini’ event last week, I was most struck by how the audience were so uninhibited in their response to the music, the oppressive and weird ‘rules’ of how to view classical music really were thrown out the window. I can’t wait to see if this is maintained on the bigger stage of QEH and to be a part of one of the most forward-thinking classical nights in London.” info/tickets
Toby Perkins, Graduate Intern
“As usual, I’ve struggled to narrow it down to only one! I was tossing up between ‘An Olympic Thread’ (10 Feb) and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (18 Feb), I love the orchestra when it has swelled to the forces needed for a piece like Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet, but ‘An Olympic Thread’ has won as I’m also a fan of the OAE in an intimate concert like this. Handel and the OAE were made to go together, so I’m really looking forward to hearing the Handel pieces, but I’m also interested in hearing a new commission, something which fairly rare for us. And I think it will be perfect […]Read More
Join our Priority Mailing List and you’ll not only be supporting the OAE but will also receive two weeks priority booking each year for our Southbank Centre season, as well as receiving our bi-annual newsletter Enlightenment.
Join now to get Priority Booking for the new 2014-2015 Southbank Centre season.Read More
If you’ve been following our Night Shift page on Facebook or our Twitterfeed you might have seen some odd pictures posted in recent days…the office giving each other a hug (repeated here for your viewing pleasure), pork scratchings, a pint, a bunch of postcards…
Well we can finally reveal what it’s all about. As you may have read on here, or perhaps you were there, earlier this month we put on a Night Shift event in a pub in King’s Cross. It was a great evening, and it seems that performers and audience enjoyed it equally.
So we’d like to do more. 5 more in fact. The idea is to do a tour of London pubs in February next year, taking in all corners of London. But, there’s a problem. As with almost every other event we do, ticket sales don’t cover costs, even with a sell-out. So we’re embarking on a fundraising campaign with a difference to make up the shortfall.
We’re doing something called crowdfunding. This is a quite new form of fundraising – all done online and based on the principle that a lot of people donating small amounts can make a big difference. We’ve partnered with Crowdfunding site wedidthis and have 30 days to raise the £1,200 required.
But it’s not all about take take take. A key part of crowdfunding is giving you, our funders (we hope!) the chance to get something back too. So, depending on your donation we have a whole raft of interesting thank yous lined up. For example, give us a fiver and we’ll say thanks on Facebook and Twitter. A tenner gets you a postcard sent to you from an OAE tour. £50 buys you a group hug from the office.
There’s some more background about the campaign on the video below, including footage from our ‘pilot’ pub gig.
So, if you’d like to make our pub tour happen please visit our campaign page. Any donation, large or small, is useful. We have just 30 days to raise the money and if we don’t meet the target we get nothing at all. No pressure.
Thanks for reading, and a final, very unBritish plea: Get your credit card out and get crowdfunding!
Vivaldi Concerti CD
Concerto in F major for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, violin, cello and harpsichord “Il Proteo o sia il mondo al rovescio” RV 572
Concerto in D minor for oboe RV 454
Concerto in D minor for 2 recorders, 2 oboees, bassoon and 2 violins RV 566
Concerto in F major for 2 horns RV 539
Concerto in G major for cello RV 413
Chamber Concerto in G minor for flute, oboe, bassoon, violin and continuo RV 107
Concerto in G minor for flute “La Notte” RV 439
Concerto in D minor for lute and viola d’amore RV 540
The founding of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in 1986 was one of the absolutely decisive moments in British musical life. Orchestral players seized back command of their own destiny, saying that they were the best people to organise their artistic lives. Conductors who had never worked with period instruments before – Rattle, Mackerras, Jurowski – were attracted in. A revolution in performance style was underway that left few modern symphony orchestras untouched. This is their story.
Helen Wallace, 2006
68 pages, full colour
Henry Purcell Dido & Aeneas
An opera in three acts
with Sarah Connolly, Gerald Finley, Lucy Crowe, Patricia Bardon, William Purefoy, Sarah Tynan, John Mark Ainsley, Carys Lane and Rebecca Outram.
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Choir of the Enlightenment
Elizabeth Kenny & Steven Devine music directors
Total Playing Time: 69.49
If a change is as good as a rest then we OAE musicians should be well refreshed after this summer.
For me one of the highlights was playing the rarely performed Liszt Faust Symphony, a piece that required us to expand our numbers somewhat. One day we were a double bass section of two playing Handel’s Rinaldo at Glyndebourne, the next a section of eight, rehearsing Liszt, and what a fab eight it was!
It was a delight to be joined by bassists from other symphony and chamber orchestras – a chance to exchange musical ideas, and find out how things are done elsewhere. The wealth of information was mind boggling, from knowledge of instruments, players and conductors, to the best restaurants in Warsaw, – and it was very good.
We at the OAE are different to most orchestras, symphonic or chamber, in that the size of orchestra fluctuates all the time depending on the repertoire and the venue (Three players in a pub last week, I hear, taking The Night Shift new places). So when we come together for a big project such as the Faust Symphony we may not have worked with many of our colleagues for a year or more. The first rehearsal has a real sense of ‘getting to know you’ as we all have our antennae out to the max – listening, adjusting, blending.
What I’ll never forget about this Liszt project is the way that this large gathering of wonderful, talented players, came into focus as a cohesive whole. The feeling was almost physical; a seismic, earth-trembling sense of plates coming together to form a new musical land. Fanciful language, maybe, but the fantastic resulting concerts, such as the one at the Edinburgh Festival, will stay in the memory for a long time.
Cecelia Bruggemeyer, Double BassRead More
1. Why is the orchestra called “The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment”?
We are a period instrument orchestra named after the age in European history known as The Enlightenment, an era spanning the late seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This was a time of great experimentation and innovation, a period during which instruments, techniques and also the form of musical performance developed greatly.Read More
We’re all up early and ready for the fun and games that is check in at Heathrow. 3 staff narrow their eyes at the theorbo at once: “Have you ever travelled with it before?” ummm… I refrain from saying “only the last 20 years” and smile as they figure out the procedure about extra seats. These days (and I hope no one from BAA is reading this) you can’t buy seats for “lute” or “theorbo” so I have to go under cover as “cello”. And hope it fits. Which on the way back, it doesn’t. Fortunately the stewardesses on the plane itself are very chilled, and we rig up an arrangement involving more than my fair share of seat in a prime place next to the loo…
This is the first outing of Heiner Goebbels Songs of Wars I have seen since we were in Modena in May. One of the pleasures of this piece, aside from getting to catch up with the London Sinfonietta in glorious form, is checking out the audience reaction to the mixture of Gertrude Stein and old and new instruments. When we did it in New York in March several friends and friends of friends said the weirdest thing was hearing us read the Stein with our apparently “cut glass” British accents (not sure my Mum would recognise the cut glass bit…). Reminded me that the texts already have a music of their own, before Heiner adds his definitive mix of swing, last-post trumpet and ammunition effects and the odd bit of Matthew Locke, to Stein’s words.
The coach goes through gleaming sunshine and grand looking central town buildings. And then on some. And then on some more to a random-looking shed on an industrial estate. And stops. Er…
It’s a dilapidated but very trendy-looking old factory, which has an unexpectedly resonant acoustic. Good news, you might think, but not really for the combination of intricate rhythms and words, which are in danger of all melding together. “It sounds terrible but you’re doing you’re best” smiles Goebbels, not altogether reassuringly. But Ian the sound genius has it all under control, and gradually we can hear things we haven’t heard before in conventional halls. Picking your way in the dark to the other bit of concrete that is backstage is interesting: fog lights are set up which cast film noir kinds of shadows on the huge bare walls. For this performance we have some “newbies” to this piece in OAE, who pick it all up amazingly quickly and with seeming ease and mix their own personalities into the brew, making us wonder why it took so long for us oldies to get the hang of it…
7.05pm and it’s more or less just us and the weeds outside the factory, and then taxis start to multiply and before long a crowd of the mixed new-old music scene turn the building into a happening place, we’re lucky to be here.
And it’s the only concert hall I’ve been to which has a row of hammocks outside to catch a lie down in. Rachel Brown found them, and swung away happily for a while until the chill set in. It may be sunny but it is still September.
Elizabeth Kenny, Principal TheorboRead More