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
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
After the last Night Shift back in January, where Vladimir Jurowski conducted us in music by Mahler and Liszt, our brave man-with-a-cam, Zen, asked the audience: ‘How was it for you?’
Here’s what people said:Read More
Here’s a little video diary from our trip to Paris back in January, when we took a supersized OAE there for a concert of Wagner, Liszt and Mahler with conductor Vladimir Jurowski and mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly. We armed Communications Director William Norris with a video camera, and here are the results:
We’ve had a bit of a backlog of videos here, so these audience vox pops have been somewhat delayed. But they’re here now. After our Symphonic Enlightenment programme of Wagner, Mahler and Liszt at the Royal Festival Hall back on 21 January we asked audience members what they had made of the performance (with conductor Vladimir Jurowski and soloist Sarah Connolly). Here’s what they said:Read More
Regular readers of this blog or our Facebook Page will know we were due to interview Vladimir Jurowski back in December. Well, that didn’t happen as he wasn’t too well, and about to embark on a big tour. We did however catch up with him last week, when he was with us conducting the Symphonic Enlightenment programme. We’d like to say a big thank you to him for giving up some of his hectic schedule to speak to us – particularly given that a) He still wasn’t 100% well, as evidenced by the tissue clutched in his hand and b) his schedule really is super-packed – he didn’t even have any time off over Christmas!Read More
We’re back from Paris and a second performance of our Symphonic Enlightenment programme of Wagner, Mahler and Liszt. First reviews from Friday’s performance are now in too – mainly from bloggers and online. Hopefully the Nationals will follow tomorrow. Thanks so much for the comments posted on our blog, You Tube video and also for the many Tweets we’re had as well. It’s always great to get such instant feedback!
Radio 3 recorded Friday’s concert at the Royal Festival Hall and you can listen to it at 7pm tonight, or online here for 7 days after.
Also coming up on the blog – a video interview with conductor Vladimir Jurowski, a round up of Night Shift news, pictures from Paris and a Parisien tour diary. Plus a parting shot from our intern Ingrid.
Tonight we play our Symphonic Enlightenment programme at the Royal Festival Hall – a late romantic programme of Wagner, Mahler and Liszt with 90 players on stage. For us, a huge undertaking. Parts of the programme had their first airing on Wednesday at our (Sold out) Night Shift, but tonight will be the first time that Sarah Connolly joins us to sing Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (well, not quite first, we have obviously rehearsed it!). We caught up with her earlier this week to ask her about the piece:
In our latest video ahead of our concerts of Mahler, Wagner and Liszt this week we speak to our Principal Flute, Lis Beznosiuk. She talks about which flutes she is using for the concert, a task made difficult by the quite wide period of time (and hence flute-evolution) that the music spans, and also about why she loves Mahler so much.Read More
Our next Night Shift event is next Wednesday at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, when we’ll be joined by Night Shift regular, conductor Vladimir Jurowski, for a concert of Mahler and Liszt. Support comes from Kitty La Roar and Nick of Time and there’s a DJ set afterwards from Postino. We’ve just released a new podcast ahead of the event and in it we chat to Orchestra leader Maggie Faultless about the music featured, hear from Vladimir Jurowski about his experiences of conducting at The Night Shift, find out how the graphic design and illustration for The Night Shift has evolved and also talk to Natasha, one of our student representatives. You can listen to the podcast below and it will also shortly be available on itunes. Also below is a retrospective of Night Shift flyer designs, to accompany your podcast listening!Read More
Next week at our Symphonic Enlightenment concert at the Royal Festival Hall, the horns of the OAE take centre stage. Martin Lawrence, from our Horn Section, here explains the difference between Natural and Valve horns, talks about how they are used in the music of Liszt and Wagner and how Mahler wants the best of both worlds…Read More
Next month, our Principal Artist Vladimir Jurowski returns to us to conduct a boundary pushing (for a period instrument orchestra) Symphonic Enlightenment programme of Mahler, Wagner and Liszt. There’s a performance in the Royal Festival Hall on 21 Jan, a Night Shift at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 19 Jan, and should you live in Paris, a performance there on 22 Jan.
On Monday, our intrepid Digital Content Officer, Zen, will be catching up with Vladimir to interview him in advance of his concerts with us. We want to know your burning questions to put to him, so add them here as comments or over on our Facebook page. We promise to ask a selection of them, and we’ll get the video up before Christmas. You might want to ask about the programme, his career, why he works with the OAE or even why he likes the Moomins…(that will be explained in a forthcoming Speed Interview actually).
The full line up for concerts on 21 and 22 Jan is below, with the pieces included in The Night Shift indicated by a seasonal snow flake (*). (ok, it’s an asterisk…)
Wagner Prelude to Parsifal
Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a wayfarer), with soloist Sarah Connolly.
Liszt Les Preludes*