Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Sally Beamish: Speed interview

Tue 7 Feb 2012

As we get ready for In the Spirit of Tradition at St Georges Bristol, we look back at our speed interview with Sally Beamish…

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Lunchtime with the OAE

Wed 4 May 2011

St George's concert hall, Bristol - venue for our lunchtime concerts

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

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Roy Goodman: Speed Interview

Tue 26 Apr 2011

In just over a week’s time we have our next concert at Southbank Centre, May the fours be with you. We know the concert title has been a bit of a marmite-like subject, you either love it or hate it – but it just references all the fours – 4th May, Mozart Symphony 40, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4, Schubert Symphony No. 4…

Anyhow, for this concert (and the Night Shift that follows) we’re joined by conductor Roy Goodman, for whom this is a bit of a special moment – returning to the OAE as conductor, after having been a player member of the OAE in our early days back in the 80’s. Here’s his Speed Interview. You can also catch the concert in Bristol this Thursday, 28 April.

What/when was your big breakthrough?
Boy soloist for Decca Records in Allegri’s Miserere as a chorister in King’s College Choir 1963.

What do you fear the most?
Divorce and overdrafts.

 Which mobile number do you call the most?
Jane, my Kiwi girlfriend in Auckland, New Zealand.

What – or where – is perfection?
A full moon whilst sailing my boat in the Western Isles of Scotland.

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OAE at St Georges

Wed 28 Oct 2009

One of the OAE’s regular ‘homes’ outside of London is St Georges in Bristol. We usually give 3-4 ‘main’ concerts there a season, and often a series of lunchtime chamber music concerts too. However, depite having worked for the OAE for getting on for five years until last week I had never been there! So, I decided to catch the last concert of our mini-tour with Yannick Nézet-Séguin there. It’s a beautiful building – very striking outside, and like St John’s in London it used to be a church. Inside it’s very intimate – and the acoustic is fantastic – very ‘in your face’ but in a good way, and the sound has a nice warm quality to it. being an old building it does have a few drawbacks – including the very creaky floor boards in the balcony. I was up there in the rehearsal being shown around by the Marketing Manager of the venue when we hit a very creaky spot – rather embrasssingly the Orchestra stopped rehearsing and I got a ‘look’ from Yannick followed by general mock stamping of feet from the Orchestra! The performance itself was fantastic – and there was the rare sight backstage of all the players virtually queueing up to say thank you and goodbye to Yannick at the end. An added bonus on the way home was discovering that bars on trains obviously don’t have licensing restructions like pubs and I was able to buy a nice 1/2 bottle of red wine to keep me company on the journey back to London, despite it being after 11!

William Norris, Marketing Director

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Hop 'n drop to Perugia

Thu 28 May 2009

One Concert in the Life of a Touring Musician

So – how have we weathered these last eleven days?

To summarise: four concerts in three venues: Kings Place, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and St. George’s Bristol; three days of ‘Giulio Cesare’ at Glyndebourne; two days of rehearsals at Maida Vale studios, rounded off with a one-night dash to Perugia. Perhaps the deafening silence during the four-hour coach journey from Perugia back to Bologna airport on Monday morning speaks for itself.

The Italian bit began on Sunday with an alarm call at 5.30 a.m. in a hotel near Gatwick. Those awake enough to think of it, boarded the airport bus last in order to get to the check-in desk first, ahead of the double basses, timps and cellos. For, without such tactics, the best-laid plans for a leisurely breakfast and a strong cup of coffee, prior to take off, can fade slowly into a distant dream as time drips by in the first of the interminable queuing procedures that are the hallmark and curse of air travel. Even getting through security can induce moments of character-building restraint. For, on various memorable occasions in the past, instrumentalists have been ordered to hand over tuning forks, hundreds of pounds worth of spare strings and vital, expensive reed-making knives and pliers – packed into suitcases nowadays. As musicians, possibly the most profound question to be asked during the whole tedious business is: “Any sharp instruments in your hand luggage?”

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New podcast

Thu 14 May 2009

So we decided to dip our toes into the world of podcasts with this trial one, during which you can find out more about the music featured in our concerts with Robin Ticciati next week (20 May at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and 23 May in St George’s Bristol). Let us know what you think!

OAE Podcast No.1

If you are so moved as to book tickets for the concerts you can do so here for London and here for Bristol.

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St Matthew Passion review

Wed 8 Apr 2009

Here’s a review in The Guardian from the Bristol performance of the St Matthew Passion.

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St Matthew Passion: Bristol

Thu 2 Apr 2009

Monday was the first concert in our long St Matthew Passion tour around Europe in time for Easter, which saw the OAE journey to the west of England to St George’s Bristol. As I’m sure the St Matthew Passion is going to gain plenty of coverage in the blog in the next few weeks or so, I’d like to blog about the pre-concert event.  The title of the event was ‘The OAE’s look at the development of the Passion’ and we decided to do something a little bit different by combining a film showing of an Education project that had taken place in Bristol earlier in the Spring, with an insightful introduction from Mark Padmore about how he with the OAE has approached the performance of the Passion this time round, and the challenges of being without a conductor.

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