Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Rachel Podger and the OAE

Fri 18 Nov 2011

Rachel Podger

Rachel Podger first started dabbling with Baroque performance techniques by having lessons ‘on the quiet’. Though nobody knew she was at it, she was soon noticed for her talents – winning the solo violin prize at the Guildhall School of Music and eventually becoming Leader of Trevor Pinnock’s increasingly renowned busy baroque ensemble The English Concert.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about Abel, Arne and JC Bach

Thu 17 Nov 2011

Horn Shadow

This Saturday at the Wiltshire Music Centre, and on Monday at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, we’re teaming up with star violnist Rachel Podger for a cocnert called 1700s London and the Fab Four. The Fab Four in question are composers all active in London in the 1700s – Haydn (who you hopefully know of!), Abel, Arne and JC Bach. Now, the last three may be a little less familiar to you. So we’ve put together a few little facts about them – and if you use Spotify you can also listen to a playlist of some of the music from the concert too.

Thomas Arne, 1710-1778

– British composer
– Composed Rule Britannia
– His version of God Save the King became the National anthem
– 1741: one of the very first composers to take legal action over musical copyright issues
– Thomas & Sally
was the first English comic opera to be sung throughout without dialogue.
– Artaxerxes
was one of the most influential English operas of the 18th century

Carl Friedrich Abel, 1723-1987

– He was principal viola da gamba and cello player in the court orchestra of JS Bach
– 1748: joined Johann Adolph Hasse’s court orchestra at Dresden at the recommendation of Bach.
– Formed famous Bach-Abel concerts.
– One of his works became famous due to a misattribution: in the 19th Century a manuscript of a symphony (no.3 in E flat. K.18) in the hand of Mozart was catalogued incorrectly in a complete edition of Mozart’s works. Only later was it discovered to be by Abel.

J C Bach, 1735-1782

– son of JS Bach
– Known as London Bach/ English Bach due to his time spent in the capital.
– Noted for influencing Mozart’s concerto style.
– Father JS Bach died when JC was 15 – perhaps suggesting why it’s difficult to find similarity between their work.
– JC’s style differs from his father’s and families: Galante style (which opposed Baroque’s intricate lines) with its balanced phrases, emphasis on fluid melody and little contrapuntal complexity. It preceded the classical style and renewed interest in counterpoint.
– The symphonies in the Work list for JC Bach in the New Grove Bach Family, listed 91 works but only half, 48, are considered authentic, the remaining 43-doubtful.
-JC Bach relatively rare in concert halls but now increasingly more recognised for its quality and significance.

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