Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Instagram Rss YouTube
Get news and offers Search...
load
 

C.P.E Bach

Composer

His Times: Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach is the full name of the second surviving son of one of history’s most influential composers: Johannes Sebastian Bach

Read More

Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745 – 1799)

Composer

His Times: Owing to the Abolitionist Movement and the French Revolution, France in the late 18th century was not a particularly stable place to be living. This was however where Joseph Bologne (better known as Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges) plied his trade.

Read More

Gustav Mahler (1860 – 1911)

Composer

His Times: Mahler said, ‘I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way,’ a quote that aptly captures the musical world that Mahler and his contemporaries were creating in 19th century Austria and-Germany.

Read More

Claudio Monteverdi (1567 –1643)

Composer

His times: Monteverdi set in motion the development of what we’ve come to know as opera.

Read More

Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856)

Composer

His times: Schumann composed whilst the Romantic Movement was in full swing, when the popularity of virtuoso performers had become very widespread, and as a result much of his music requires a mastery of piano technique.

Read More

Francesco Cavalli (1602 – 1676)

Composer

His Times: One of the most notable students of the famous Monteverdi, Francesco Cavalli found himself pumping out operas in 17th century Venice, responding to the rising popularity of the genre (thanks largely to Monteverdi himself) and the appearance of more and more public opera houses.

Read More

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Composer

His times: In Beethoven’s late twenties, France overthrew its monarchy and a wave of rebellion spread through Europe. The composer, a devout Republican, was presented with an opportunity not only to change music, but to change the social standing of ‘the artist’. He did both: from the early 1800s, music would never be the same again, and historians increasingly concur that with Beethoven an era of the artist-hero was born that arguably still holds sway today.

Read More

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)  

composer

His times: Beethoven might have died six years before Brahms was born, but in a musical sense the former composer still dominated the landscape of the German-speaking world and beyond – and got inside Brahms’s head to quite a remarkable degree.

Read More

Anton Bruckner (1824 – 1896)

Composer

His Times: By the time Bruckner had moved to Vienna for a post at the University in about 1868, a fierce stylistic rivalry known as “The War of the Romantics” was going on.

Read More

Edward Elgar (1857-1934)

Composer

His times: Elgar was born eight years before the Finn Jean Sibelius, a composer who like many others on the edges of Europe would become associated with musical ‘nationalism’.

Read More

Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)

Composer

His times: Italy succumbed less readily to the excesses and experiments of the Romantic movement than most of her European neighbours, and the result – in a country whose musical life was dominated by opera in the 19th century – was a conservative attitude to the stage in which works tended to be divided into the ‘comic’ and the ‘tragic’ while not stretching far beyond established formulas and aiming for little more than short-term success.

Read More

Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704)

Composer

His times: Charpentier was born in an aristocratic France where music was predominantly heard in the church and stylistically influenced by Italian and German models. Well-to-do Charpentier found himself studying law in Paris and eventually music – or perhaps it was painting to begin with, we don’t really know – in Rome. There he was spotted by the composer Giacomo Carissimi, who became his mentor. Back in France, Charpentier spent 17 years as court composer to Marie de Lorraine before working in a similar post for the Dauphin, son of Louis XIV and then as music master for the Jesuit order in Paris. Eventually he directed music at the Saint-Chapelle, the gothic chapel at the Palais de Justice.

Read More

William Boyce (1711-1779)

Composer

OAE

His times: As was the case for most professional musicians at the time, the church shaped much of William Boyce’s early musical life. He sang at St Paul’s Cathedral in whose shadow he was born, before holding appointments as organist at a number of city churches and becoming Master of the King’s Music.

Read More

Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns

Composer

OAE

His times: In his lifetime, and for many years thereafter, Saint-Saëns was viewed as an upholder of tradition – an arch-conservative with an intense interest in music of the past (much of which, including Bach, he revived for the first time in France). In truth Saint-Saëns was a progressive man, who proved instrumental in dragging the French musical establishment forward: away from the light opera it was so obsessed with and onto song and chamber music. But as a world-famous musician in the 18th and early 19th centuries, Saint-Saëns wrote across the board: operas, concertos, symphonies and instrumental, vocal and chamber music.

Read More

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)

Composer

His times: Now it’s the Czech Republic; in Dvořák’s time it was Bohemia – an Austrian crown land that was effectively more ‘European’ in a musical sense than it was Slavic.

Read More

Piotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Composer

His times: Russia and Russian music were alive with nationalism in the mid 1800s when Tchaikovsky was born in a small town in present-day Udmurtia. But while Tchaikovsky’s music irrefutably grew from Russian soil – and often sounds like it too – the composer wasn’t interested in traditional notions of musical nationalism.

Read More

Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880)

Composer

OAE

His times: Offenbach was sent from his native Cologne to study music in Paris, a city that was fast forging a reputation as the world capital of entertainment (risqué, populist and otherwise) and was, for much of the composer’s adult life, under the regime of the Second French Republic and Napoleon III.

Read More

Jean-Phillippe Rameau (1683-1764)

Composer

Jean-Philippe-Rameau

The Man
Rameau was secretive about the first half of his life: it seems that he never imparted any detail of it to his friends or even to his wife. We know he was born in a family of musicians, that his father was his first teacher and that he worked as an organist in some churches, including the one in the Jesuit College where Voltaire was a pupil – a few years later he became the librettist of some of Rameau’s operas.

Read More

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

Composer

Verdi

Himself: Despite his innate musical ability (he began studying music at the age of three), Verdi’s application for the Milan Conservatory was rejected due to his lack of piano technique and discipline. In 1839, he moved to Milan and he had his first success with Nabucco and also his first failure, with the comedy Un giorno di negro. He only composed one other comedy in his career: Falstaff, his last opera.

Read More

Josef Mysliveček (1737-1781)

Composer

His Times Mysliveček followed the standard 18th-century route into composing, starting in the church and ending in the theatre. This was a time when composers were itinerant and needed aristocratic patronage: Mysliveček got support from Count Vincenz von Waldstein and traveled to Rome in 1763 to learn his operatic craft with his schooling as a church violinist (and his previous life as an apprentice miller) behind him.

Read More