This week’s Trial by Jury is our first ever concert of music by Gilbert and Sullivan. It’s not something period instrument orchestras such as ourselves are really known for doing. So how did we approach it? Leader Margaret Faultless discusses her meeting with conductor John Wilson.Read More
“It’s been really inspirational for the start of this project.”
Leader Margaret Faultless gets her hands on the original concert programme for the premiere of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis at Gloucester Cathedral on September 6, 1910.
Hear us play it before Brahms’ Requiem with Marin Alsop:
Saturday 10 November, 2018, The Anvil, Basingstoke
Sunday 11 November, 2018, Southbank Centre, LondonRead More
The violinist Margaret Faultless is one of the OAE’s four leaders and regularly directs the orchestra.Read More
Margaret Faultless introduces a 1990 recording from BBC Scotland featuring the first movement of Bach’s double violin concerto.
Spot current OAE players Alison Bury (soloist), Cathy Weiss, Richard Tunnicliffe, Annette Isserlis, and Margaret Faultless.
We perform the same piece at St John’s Smith Square on 24 November (with Margaret) and the West London Synagogue on 22 November.
A month or so ago we took our late night series, The Night Shift, out clubbing, with a visit to the Vauxhall institution that is Duckie…Read More
Well we must admit we have been rather remiss in getting our pre and post concert talks up online this year. Apologies, but we’re now doing our best to catch up and post remaining talks we have on file up here.Read More
With the first month of 2014 nearly behind us, we look back at some of our concert highlights from 2013…Read More
We don’t usually post about Night Shift stuff on the main OAE blog, as we have a whole website for it over here, but our events this week are so unusual we thought it’d be wrong not to tell everyone about them.Read More
The Becket collection of period instruments, founded by long-time OAE supporter Elise Becket Smith, has been donated by its founder and her fellow trustees to the Royal Academy of Music. The collection was founded by Elise in 1998 to encourage and facilitate the study of historically informed performance, and now comprises 25 stringed instruments together with full brass, woodwind and percussion sections, and musicians who have worked with the collection include Margaret Faultless, Sir Roger Norrington and Laurence Cummings, all 3 of whom of course have strong ties to the OAE.
Margaret Faultless, OAE Leader and newly-appointed Head of Historical Performance at the Royal Academy said: ““The extraordinarily generous gift of the Becket Collection of instruments to the Academy is a wonderfully exciting development. It will give opportunities for performers throughout the institution to experience the significant relationship between repertoire (particularly that of the eighteenth
century) and the instruments for which it was composed, giving insights into the music itself and helping to inform interpretations.”
Find out more about he collection on the Royal Academy of Music website.
Above: Instruments from the collection: One original classical viola and one new (reproduction) baroque viola.
Below: Founder of the Becket Collection, Elise Becket Smith.
Vivaldi Concerti CD
Concerto in F major for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, violin, cello and harpsichord “Il Proteo o sia il mondo al rovescio” RV 572
Concerto in D minor for oboe RV 454
Concerto in D minor for 2 recorders, 2 oboees, bassoon and 2 violins RV 566
Concerto in F major for 2 horns RV 539
Concerto in G major for cello RV 413
Chamber Concerto in G minor for flute, oboe, bassoon, violin and continuo RV 107
Concerto in G minor for flute “La Notte” RV 439
Concerto in D minor for lute and viola d’amore RV 540
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
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
The final instalment of backstage pictures of the OAE by Karen Robinson. See some featured around the Southbank Centre site soon as part of a campaign highlighting the new concert season.Read More
More from our series of backstage pictures by Karen RobinsonRead More
Continuing our series of pics by Karen Robinson…Read More
Here’s a second set of pics taken backstage around our performance of L’estro Armonico earlier this year, taken by Karen Robinson. This set is from the afternoon rehearsal.Read More
A while back, photographer Karen Robinson was commissioned by Southbank Centre to take pictures of the Resident Orchestras and their major artists, with a view to using the images for the Southbank Centre’s 2010-2011 Classical Music Season. You may well have already seen the photographs in the Southbank’s Classical Music Guide. As part of the project, Karen spent a day with the OAE as we rehearsed and performed Vivaldi’s L’estro armonico at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The results are fantastic, and a wonderful glimpse into what happens backstage at a concert. Here’s an initial selection (from the afternoon rehearsal), and more will follow.
William Norris, Marketing DirectorRead More
You may have seen the phrase ‘period instrument orchestra’ floating around in relation to the OAE. Well this means that we use instruments like those from the time that the music was written in so our performances are what the composers themselves would have actually heard. But not only are the instruments the great great grandparents of what you will hear a modern symphony orchestra playing on, the pitch has also changed over the years. Modern orchestras using modern instruments play at a pitch where the note ‘A’ is equivalent to 440 hertz. In Baroque music (Bach and Handel’s time) we generally play at A=415 and for classical music (Mozart, Haydn) at A=430. To give you an idea of the difference, A=415 is about a semi-tone lower than A=440. To the untrained ear, what does this all mean? That if you played the same note on a modern instrument and an ‘old fashioned’ one, that the latter would sound a bit lower.Read More