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
A couple of a reviews from our concert at the Edinburgh International Festival a couple of weeks ago:
“Vladimir Jurowski is having a devilish summer. Last month he was steaming through Liszt’s Faust Symphony with the London Philharmonic at the Proms, but here he was in Edinburgh to embark on the same sulphurous journey with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, of which he is a Principal Artist.
It’s a considerable challenge for a period orchestra to tackle the span and intensity of Liszt’s most grandiose philosophical statement. But the OAE stared down the demons — sometimes literally — with verve” The Times
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“All in all, it was for me the most satisfying Usher Hall concert of this festival so far. They took a rarely performed work and made me wonder why; they took a frequently performed work and made it feel freshly minted. This was an evening filled with passion, drama and energy, one that frequently had me on the edge of my seat. “ Where’s Runnicles Blog
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We’re really excited to be part of the Edinburgh International Festival and are taking our tour with the brilliant Vladimir Jurowski to the Usher Hall tonight where he’ll be conducting a programme of Weber, Liszt’s dramatic Faust Symphony and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E with Alina Ibragimova.
Here’s a taster of what’s to come tonight, plus why the OAE can be compared to a very famous cat and mouse duo…
OAE at the Edinburgh International Festival
Tickets for the concert can be bought online or by phoning the EIF Box Office on 0131 473 2000.Read More
Later this week we’re reunited with our Principal Artist, Vladimir Jurowski to start rehearsals for a tour with him. The first two dates of the tour take in San Sebastian and Edinburgh (for the festival), with a programme of Weber, Mendelssohn (the violin concerto with Alina Ibragimova) and Liszt’s epic Faust Symphony. While you may know the Weber and Mendelssohn, you may well not know the Liszt, so we’ve put together a Spotify playlist of the entire programme for your listening pleasure. More on the tour in due course…Read More
The summer is over, the new term is about to begin. Our last events in August were the concerts with Sir Roger Norrington at the Proms, in Edinburgh, Grafenegg and Esterhazy. They proved to be an enjoyable and exciting (perhaps a bit too exciting!) finale to the 2008-2009 season.
In Edinburgh we were looking forward to working in the newly refurbished Usher Hall, whose beautiful acoustic is ideal for the OAE’s sound. We were joined by the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who had recently had an accident to her foot but gamely insisted on no fuss and certainly was a big hit with everyone in the orchestra. The rehearsal in the morning went without a hitch and we dispersed to sample the delights of the Festival during the afternoon. All went smoothly in the concert until we were just about to go on for the second half, when all the stage lights suddenly went out. (The wind players who were already on stage were plunged into gloom and looked most surprised!)Read More
Four concerts. Four countries. Four different programmes. Over, erm, seven days. Oh well, the fours thing lasted up to a point. We’re in the middle of a slightly complicated patch of work at the moment, working with Sir Roger Norrington. Usually we have a single concert programme which tours but on this tour each concert has seen a different variation. Edinburgh, the first date, saw an all Haydn programme, the Proms concert saw some of the Haydn repeated but with Handel, Purcell and Mendelssohn added, and the remaining concerts in Austria and Hungary see various combinations of the music so far played.
Our Orchestra manager Philippa is going to blog in full about the Edinburgh concert, but to whet your appetite here are a few pics.
William, Marketing DirectorRead More