Guide to the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

© Eric Richmond
© Eric Richmond
June 2017
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Evening performance
Matinee performance
Upcoming eventsSee more...

GlyndebourneHipermestraNew Production

Cavalli: Hipermestra
William Christie; Graham Vick; Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Stuart Nunn; Emőke Baráth; Raffaele Pè; Renato Dolcini

EssenBach goes to Paris

Campra, Fischer, Bach, Rameau
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; William Christie

BasingstokeOrchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Campra, Fischer, Bach, Rameau
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; William Christie

BirminghamWilliam Christie conducts the OAE

Campra, Fischer, Bach, Rameau
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; William Christie

LondonBach goes to Paris

Campra, Fischer, Bach, Rameau
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; William Christie

GlyndebourneLa clemenza di TitoNew Production

Mozart: La clemenza di Tito
Robin Ticciati; Claus Guth; Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Christian Schmidt; Steve Davislim; Joélle Harvey; Alice Coote
Latest reviewsSee more...

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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Pallid Berlioz from the OAE

A disappointing pairing of Berlioz and Mendelssohn from a conductorless Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. 
**111
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Méhul is celebrated by the OAE

The bicentenary of Méhul's death in 1816 was used by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, along with the enterprising Palazzetto Bru Zane, to showcase his music in a varied and entertaining programme.
****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.