Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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"Cherubini is like Asparagus.." Antony Pay, Clarinet, OAE

Fri 5 Nov 2010

Everything you wanted to know about Mehul's 4th Symphony (but were afraid to ask..)

Fri 5 Nov 2010

The man without whom we may never have been able to hear it, Professor David Charlton, musicologist and discoverer of the lost 4th Symphony by Etienne Mehul is the author of a rather large thick book containing manuscripts of 3 Mehul Symphonies which until the time of Charlton’s discovery had been lost to obscurity since Mehul’s death in 1817.  The link below will lead you to the chapter in the book specifically about Mehul’s 4th Symphony which the OAE will be playing on Tuesday next week at QEH.  Be warned, it’s fairly high-brow..

Mehul Symphony No.4

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Enrique Mazzola talks about the upcoming 'French Connections' concert and the prospect of working with the OAE

Wed 3 Nov 2010

Enrique Mazzola can’t stop smiling. In a clutch of impressive debuts coming up this season – including the Oslo and New Japan Philharmonics and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra – the young Italian conductor is particularly thrilled by the prospect of working with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with whom he will make his debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in November. ‘They are full of passion and life,’ he enthuses. ‘They really know what they want.’

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The OAE staff lowdown on Cherubini

Tue 2 Nov 2010

Leading up to the OAE’s forthcoming concert French Connections at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 9th November, we decided to play a piece from the programme to OAE office staff and film their reactions.  These are the responses from listening to Cherubini’s Overture Medée: 

Watch the Cherubini youtube clip we played them below and let us know your comments!

More info and tickets to French Connections concert on 9th November 2010 at QEH:  http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/find/music/classical/tickets/orchestra-of-the-age-of-enlightenment-50651

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The issue of pitch..

Wed 27 Oct 2010

In danger of being a touch geeky, we thought we’d tell you something about pitch, how it’s not always been as it is now..

Pitch did not use to be standardized as it is today and was different from country to country and changed through the eras.  It is denoted by 2 coordinates, frequency (Hz) and note A in the middle of the treble staff. So A=415 is A at 415Hz.  Still awake? Good.

It was recently highlighted in the office when a Clavinova had to be tuned to A=415 in a rehearsal so that the choir were singing in the correct pitch.  Modern standardised pitch is A=440, which makes the A=415 of the Baroque era a G sharp to our ears.. A bit confusing for people with perfect pitch!

This gets tricky with fixed pitch instruments such as oboes and flutes which are of course designed to play specific pitches, whereas stringed instruments can be tuned to whatever pitch is needed. So when playing with period fixed pitch instruments one has to make sure every other instrument can be tuned to the same pitch and that you have a fairly large collection of pitch forks..

Just so you know, the last Night Shift on 20th October was A=415 (Baroque) and the upcoming ‘French Connections’ concert on 9th November (Cherubini/Mehul/Berlioz/Mozart) will be A=430. Come and see if you can tell the difference!

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