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Guide to the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

© Eric Richmond
© Eric Richmond
May 2019
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Evening performance
Matinee performance
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LondonBach: Toutes Suites

Bach: Toutes Suites
Bach
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Margaret Faultless; Lisa Beznosiuk

NottinghamOrchestra of the Age of Enlightenment perform Bach's Orchestral Suites

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment perform Bach's Orchestral Suites
Bach
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

MadridEl Año de las Luces en Ibermúsica

© Simon Pauly
Elgar, Strauss R., Sibelius
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Vladimir Jurowski; Alina Ibragimova

LondonStates of Independence

States of Independence
Elgar, Strauss R., Sibelius
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Vladimir Jurowski; Alina Ibragimova

BasingstokeOrchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Corelli, Manfredini, Geminiani, Vivaldi
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Rachel Podger

LondonBeethoven Missa Solemnis

© The Bach Choir
Beethoven: Mass in D Major "Missa solemnis”, Op.123
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; David Hill; The Bach Choir; Sarah Fox; Catherine Wyn-Rogers; Toby Spence
Latest reviewsSee more...

Star-studded, searing Bach at the Royal Festival Hall

Roderick Williams and Andrew Staples in rehearsal © Tristram Kenton
Challenging and vivid Bach in the first UK showing of Peter Sellars' staging of Bach's great liturgical masterpiece.
****1
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Community Chorus is star of the show in Glyndebourne's Agreed

The community chorus of Agreed © Robert Workman

Impressive performances from a 75-strong community chorus in a watery tale of love, loss and divided lands at Glyndebourne.

***11
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Spliced: Mozart, Magdalena and the OAE mix it up

Magdalena Kožená © Oleg Rostovtsev
Mozart's Symphony no. 40 gets the chop, split into four movements interspersed with arias sung by Czech mezzo Magdalena Kožená. 
****1
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Venus Unwrapped kicks off on an uneven playing field

Mary Bevan © Viktor Erik Emanuel
It was unfair to pair the exquisite madrigals and songs of Barbara Strozzi with a weighty piece by Monteverdi.
***11
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Mournful and humane Brahms at the Royal Festival Hall

Marin Alsop © Adriane White
Marin Alsop and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment lead a searing account of Brahms' German Requiem and Vaughan Williams. 
****1
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Everybody loves David: Handel’s Saul at Glyndebourne

Karina Gauvin (Merab), Anna Devin (Michal), Iestyn Davies (David) and Allan Clayton (Jonathan) © Bill Cooper
Barrie Kosky's punchy, visually exhilarating take on Saul, with Iestyn Davies as a sublime David, makes for a powerful evening of drama at Glyndebourne.
****1
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Biography

Just under three decades ago, a group of inquisitive London musicians took a long hard look at that curious institution we call the Orchestra, and decided to start again from scratch. They began by throwing out the rulebook. Put a single conductor in charge? No way. Specialise in repertoire of a particular era? Too restricting. Perfect a work and then move on? Too lazy. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment was born.

And as this distinctive ensemble playing on period-specific instruments began to get a foothold, it made a promise to itself. It vowed to keep questioning and inventing as long as it lived. Residencies at the Southbank Centre and the Glyndebourne Festival didn’t numb its experimentalist bent. A major record deal didn’t iron out its quirks. Instead, the OAE examined musical notes with ever more freedom and resolve.

That creative thirst remains unquenched. Informal night-time performances are redefining concert formats. Searching approaches to varied repertoire see the OAE working frequently with symphony and opera orchestras. New generations of exploratory musicians are encouraged into its ranks. Great performances now become recordings on the orchestra’s own CD label. It thrives internationally: New York and Amsterdam court it; Oxford and Bristol cherish it.

In its 30th year, the OAE is part of our musical furniture. It has even graced the outstanding conducting talents of Elder, Rattle, Jurowski and Fischer with a joint title. But don’t ever think the ensemble has lost sight of its founding vow. Not all orchestras are the same. And there’s nothing quite like this one.


Visit the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment website for more information.