Guide to the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

© Eric Richmond
© Eric Richmond
August 2017
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Evening performance
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GlyndebourneLa clemenza di TitoNew Production

Mozart: La clemenza di Tito
Robin Ticciati; Claus Guth; Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Christian Schmidt; Richard Croft; Joélle Harvey; Alice Coote

LondonProm 59

Mozart: La clemenza di Tito
Robin Ticciati; Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Steve Davislim; Alice Coote; Joélle Harvey; Anna Stéphany

LondonChristophe Coin with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment: Galloping Galant

Sammartini, Boccherini, Bach C.P.E.
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Christophe Coin

Saffron WaldenOrchestra of the Age of Enlightenment: The Judas Passion

Beamish: The Judas Passion
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Choir of the Age of Enlightenment

LondonThe Judas Passion

Beamish: The Judas Passion
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Nicholas McGegan; David Harsent; Peter Thomson; Brenden Gunnell; Roderick Williams

OxfordOpening Night: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Thomas Kemp, Kate Royal, Toby Spence, Dietrich Henschel

Mahler, Strauss R.
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Thomas Kemp; Kate Royal; Toby Spence; Dietrich Henschel
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Prom 23: An evening of angelic choruses

A performance of Handel's oratorio Israel in Egypt performed by the Orchestra and Choir of the Age of the Enlightenment with William Christie conducting.

One for sorrow: La clemenza di Tito at Glyndebourne

A grimly dark setting for Mozart's final opera, Sesto and Tito haunted by childhood memories. 
***11
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Vick finds modern relevance in Cavalli's Hipermestra

The advantage of staging a rare opera such as Cavalli's Hipermestra at Glyndebourne this year is that the director can work with a blank canvas without audience’s preconceptions.
****1
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Illuminating Brandenburgs from the OAE

A rare opportunity to hear the complete Brandenburgs was awarded by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a distinguished performance, with Huw Daniel its leading light.
****1
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Quicksilver clarity from Faust and the OAE

Isabelle Faust and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment find steely freshness in Mozart, with brooding intensity and accentuated twists and turns in Haydn and CPE Bach.
****1
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Inspiring Beethoven and Haydn from the OAE

Ádám Fischer and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment gave a thrilling account of Beethoven's Seventh, and there was much to admire in Steven Isserlis' intelligent reading of Hadyn's Cello Concerto no. 1.
****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.