Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Mozart: Master of Deception programme

Mon 27 Nov 2017

Here’s the programme for our Mozart: Master of Deception concert with Rachel Podger on Monday 27 November at St John’s Smith Square. You can also pick up a physical copy free of charge on the night itself.

As well as the programme notes, in this issue:

Rabbi Julia Neuberger, Senior Rabbi at West London Synagogue asks ‘Is seeing believing?’ We take a look at the eventful London life of Johann Christian Bach.

If you can’t see it, just click here. 

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Kinga’s Australia tour photo diary

Wed 15 Nov 2017

Violinist Kinga Ujszászi gives us a peak behind the scenes on our current tour of Australia.

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30 years of breaking the rules: 2015-2016 concerts announced

Thu 22 Jan 2015

Luise Buchberger OAE 2015-2016 Season

This morning at Southbank Centre we launched our 2015-2016 season of concerts to the press – a year which marks our 30th Birthday. As you’d expect we have some pretty special events lined up for you…

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Recent reviews: 1700s London & Messiah

Wed 14 Dec 2011

Here’s a brief round-up of reviews. First up, two from our concert of Abel, Arne, J C bach and Haydn, with violinist Rachel Podger, 1700s London and the Fab Four.

Edward Seckerson Blog

Bach Track

And here’s some from our Messiah directed by Laurence Cummings, including a less than complimentary one in the Financial Times.  As ever, we’d love to know what you thought too.

Financial Times

The Times (subscribers only)

Audience Member blog



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Rachel Podger and the OAE

Fri 18 Nov 2011

Rachel Podger

Rachel Podger first started dabbling with Baroque performance techniques by having lessons ‘on the quiet’. Though nobody knew she was at it, she was soon noticed for her talents – winning the solo violin prize at the Guildhall School of Music and eventually becoming Leader of Trevor Pinnock’s increasingly renowned busy baroque ensemble The English Concert.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about Abel, Arne and JC Bach

Thu 17 Nov 2011

Horn Shadow

This Saturday at the Wiltshire Music Centre, and on Monday at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, we’re teaming up with star violnist Rachel Podger for a cocnert called 1700s London and the Fab Four. The Fab Four in question are composers all active in London in the 1700s – Haydn (who you hopefully know of!), Abel, Arne and JC Bach. Now, the last three may be a little less familiar to you. So we’ve put together a few little facts about them – and if you use Spotify you can also listen to a playlist of some of the music from the concert too.

Thomas Arne, 1710-1778

– British composer
– Composed Rule Britannia
– His version of God Save the King became the National anthem
– 1741: one of the very first composers to take legal action over musical copyright issues
– Thomas & Sally
was the first English comic opera to be sung throughout without dialogue.
– Artaxerxes
was one of the most influential English operas of the 18th century

Carl Friedrich Abel, 1723-1987

– He was principal viola da gamba and cello player in the court orchestra of JS Bach
– 1748: joined Johann Adolph Hasse’s court orchestra at Dresden at the recommendation of Bach.
– Formed famous Bach-Abel concerts.
– One of his works became famous due to a misattribution: in the 19th Century a manuscript of a symphony (no.3 in E flat. K.18) in the hand of Mozart was catalogued incorrectly in a complete edition of Mozart’s works. Only later was it discovered to be by Abel.

J C Bach, 1735-1782

– son of JS Bach
– Known as London Bach/ English Bach due to his time spent in the capital.
– Noted for influencing Mozart’s concerto style.
– Father JS Bach died when JC was 15 – perhaps suggesting why it’s difficult to find similarity between their work.
– JC’s style differs from his father’s and families: Galante style (which opposed Baroque’s intricate lines) with its balanced phrases, emphasis on fluid melody and little contrapuntal complexity. It preceded the classical style and renewed interest in counterpoint.
– The symphonies in the Work list for JC Bach in the New Grove Bach Family, listed 91 works but only half, 48, are considered authentic, the remaining 43-doubtful.
-JC Bach relatively rare in concert halls but now increasingly more recognised for its quality and significance.

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November 2011 podcast now out…

Wed 16 Nov 2011

Here’s our brand-new podcast for November. As ever, it’s a packed edition. First off we speak to regular OAE collaborator, violinist Rachel Podger, about her upcoming project with us – 1700s London and the Fab Four, a concert featuring music from Haydn, Abel, Arne and JC Bach that you can hear in both London and Bradford-on-Avon. Then we catch up with Education Director Cherry Forbes backstage at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where we find out more about her role and what the OAE Education team gets up to. Next up is OAE Co-Principal Keyboard player Steven Devine who tells us about his favourite recordings, including a VERY unusual version of Handel’s Messiah (hear a more conventional one from us on 6 Dec at the Royal Festival Hall!). Lastlywe take a look back to September, when Robert Levin joined us to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23 – in a special interview he tells us about the piece and his approach to it. Happy listening!

The podcast will soon also be available on itunes.

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Megan’s Alphabet Challenge (AKA the A-Z of touring)

Thu 18 Aug 2011

While on tour in Holland earlier this year we set OAE Projects Manager Megan Russell a challenge. She’d taken our little camera with her to take footage – but could she somehow find a complete A-Z of things in the tour?

Here’s the result, and we have to admit that its one of our favourite videos. Particular highlights include E for Enclosing Dyke and B for ‘is it Broken?’…


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We're having a smashing week…

Thu 5 Mar 2009

Kind of. We were rudely interrupted in our Kings Place office when one of our big floor to ceiling windows was shattered by a missile coming from the other side of the canal. All very dramatic with the police visiting etc…

Onto musical matters – this week we’ve also been doing a new recording with our regular collaborator, violinist Rachel Podger. We were actually recording in a church rather than a studio (as you can see) and were recording Haydn violin concertos. We’ll let you know when it gets released – it’s usually at least 6 months later.

William Norris, Marketing Director (with thanks to Megan for the pic)

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Twin cities: Ceri sums up

Mon 2 Feb 2009

Sorry to have cut short the end of my St Paul story. I’ve now been back a week and a half and it’s taken me this long to get over the jet lag. (Sorry I promised my colleagues at the end of last week that I would moan about jet lag no longer, but here I go again…)

The last few days of our visit in St Paul were the most exciting as after all the preparation the performances of Goebbels’ Songs of Wars I have seen were finally to take place.

For both the Friday and Saturday night concerts in the Ordway Center, the St Paul Chamber Orchestra led from the piano by Pierre-Laurent Aimard performed Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto. With insider knowledge on what was to come in the 2nd half of the concert I was intrigued to how the audience would react as the 2 pieces couldn’t have been more different.

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Twin cities update

Fri 23 Jan 2009

We’ve been here for four days now, and are finding our way around.  It is not as cold as it was the previous week, so the large amount of clothing that we all brought with us has been sitting in our wardrobes.  However, it is forecast to be much colder this weekend, so maybe I will be able to treat you to my impression of the Michelin Man soon.

We’ve been rehearsing with Rachel Podger at the St Pauls’ Chamber Orchestra Center, which is inside a beautiful 1920s building a couple of blocks from the hotel.  It also contains an old fashioned post office, a mens’ outfitters and a pet shop!

Yesterday we spent a day rehearsing at Wooddale Church.  The audiences at American churches seem to be about as big as the ones we get for concerts, judging by the size of the car park!  The church is well outside the city, in the middle of a lovely snowy landscape and a freeway system.  I went out walking and saw a large hawk in a tree, and very little else.  Here are some pictures.

Today we give our first concert, in Minneapolis.  I’ll report on this tomorrow.

Philippa Brownsword, Orchestra Manager

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