Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Rameau Anacréon (1754)

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On the surface it’s a charming tale of young love. But hidden beneath the love-triangle plot lie subversive messages that Dan Brown would be proud of. What can it all mean? And will love prevail?

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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)


His times: In Bach’s Germany, music was centred on the church which was unfailingly where its finest practitioners were found.

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Rameau’s Anacréon and Pigmalion to feature Baroque dance

Mon 8 Sep 2014

We’re thrilled to announce that our season opening concert on 9 October of one-act operas by Rameau is to feature Baroque choreography.

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Gamechangers: Symphonic Greats – Audience reactions

Wed 9 Apr 2014


Last night we climbed aboard the Royal Festival Hall stage, to take on the Great and the powerful in a concert featuring Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 and Beethoven’s Symphony No.7.  Here’s what you had to say about it….

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Current Distractions

Thu 4 Oct 2012

With so much going on this week, we felt it fitting to show you some of the things that caught our eye in the OAE office.  Here’s a lovely picture of some puppies hanging in baby clothes to start things off.

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Lunchtime with the OAE

Wed 4 May 2011

St George's concert hall, Bristol - venue for our lunchtime concerts

One of the recurring fixtures in the OAE’s diary is our annual series of lunchtime concerts at St George’s, Bristol, one of our most regular venues out of London.

There are usually four lunchtime concerts in the series, given by the soloists of the Orchestra, which then go on to be broadcast by BBC Radio 3, and are also often performed elsewhere too – for example as part of our recent Baroque. Contrasted. festival at Kings Place. Indeed, if you scroll down to our April postings you’ll find some info on the composers featured – one example here.

The most recent set of these concerts is being broadcast this week by BBC Radio 3, and the music includes pieces by well known Baroque names such as Bach and Handel, alongside some real rarities. Of course, though they’re broadcast at lunchtime, through the BBC’s Listen Again feature you can listen anytime within a week after the broadcast date.

The BBC also produced a short film to accompany the concerts which features rehearsal footage plus interviews with musicians Margaret Faultless (violin) and Steven Devine (keyboard)

The programmes are being broadcast at 1pm Tuesday to Friday this week, and you can listen to them on the links below:

Tuesday – Refelctions on the Grand Tour – music for Cornetts and Sackbuts
Wednesday – Bach, Handel and Purcell – Wind soloists of the OAE
Thursday – Vivaldi and Corelli – String soloists of the OAE
Friday – Handel, Vivaldi and Coreli – Wind and String soloists of the OAE

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Baroque. Contrasted: Daily Trivia

Fri 1 Apr 2011

Next week sees the start of our mini-festival at Kings Place, Baroque. Contrasted.

We kick off on 6 April with 5 days of concerts, talks, demonstrations and two chances to join the OAE.  Most of the composers we’ll be featuring should be pretty familiar- Vivaldi, Purcell, Bach-  but we’re also showcasing some of the lesser-known but equally brilliant artists of the time.

Ahead of the opening night, we thought we’d give you a bit of daily trivia on some of these mysterious musicians…

Gottfried Finger (1660-1730) left London in a hurry in 1701 after allegedly being unjustly passed over for a composition prize. He financed his departure with the sale of a set of trio sonatas, of which Op 5 No.10 (which we play on 7 April) is unusually scored for recorder, cello (or bassoon) and continuo.

Alessandro Stradella (1639-1682) was murdered in Genoa just months after penning the wedding cantata Il Barcheggio, probably after an unwitting controversy over a woman (who preferred him to another man – the likely murderer).

Dario Castello (1590-?) has no biographical information at all; even his birth and death dates are unknown, although it is thought he may have died during the great plague of 1630. He was probably associated with St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, where Claudio Monteverdi was maestro di capella.

For more info on the festival, including a free flippable brochure and details of how to book, visit oae.co.uk/kingsplace

Next time…find out why composer Merula got into trouble…

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Baroque. Contrasted. Staff picks

Wed 16 Mar 2011

On 6 April our next mini-festival at Kings Place, Baroque. Contrasted. kicks off with 5 days of concerts, talks, demonstrations and even singing-along showcasing the depth and variety of Baroque Music. We asked around the office to see what people here are most looking forward to:

I’m really looking forward to Steven Devine’s Sing Baroque event on 9 April.  It’s been a while since I’ve been able to stretch my vocal chords and being able to sing choruses from the beautiful Dido & Aeneas is a pretty decent way to spend a Saturday lunchtime 🙂

Natasha Stehr, Marketing and Press Officer

It’s hard to chose, because there’s lots of fab music. I’m going to chose two events. First, Baroque Strings on 7 April, because it includes Vivaldi’s La Folia variations. It’s what the German’s call an ‘earworm’ – i.e. a tune you can’t get out of your head which just goes round and round on repeat…My second pick would be Sunday’s coffee concert. Not only is it just really lovely to start your Sunday with a coffee and great music, but it’s always fantastic seeing the students on our Apprenticeship scheme play. Plus the concert includes Purcell’s Abdelazar, which reminds me of playing it in my school orchestra – though I suspect this performance will be considerably better…

William Norris, Communications Director

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