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Guide to the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

© Eric Richmond
© Eric Richmond
January 2019
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Evening performance
Matinee performance
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VallettaBach – St Matthew Passion BWV 244

Bach: St Matthew Passion, BWV244
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

LondonOrchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – The Mystery of ‘Oumuamua

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – The Mystery of ‘Oumuamua
Bach: Jesu, nun sei gepreiset - Cantata, BWV41
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Charlotte Beament; Helen Charlston; Nick Pritchard; Dingle Yandell

LondonLove and Duty, with Magdalena Kožená

© Oleg Rostovtsev
Mozart, Gluck, Haydn
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Giovanni Antonini; Magdalena Kožená

LondonOrchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – Cosmic Dawn

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – Cosmic Dawn
Bach: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern - Cantata, BWV1
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Rowan Pierce; Nick Pritchard; Dingle Yandell

LondonOrchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – Hunting for Aliens

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – Hunting for Aliens
Bach: Es reisset euch ein schrecklich Ende - Cantata, BWV90
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Ciara Hendrick; James Way; Jonathan Brown

LondonBrahms Piano Concertos 1,with Sir András Schiff

Brahms Piano Concertos 1,with Sir András Schiff
Schumann, Brahms
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Sir András Schiff
Latest reviewsSee more...

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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Fine fare to close the OAE season

Sir András Schiff © Nadia F Romanini
Sir András Schiff and the OAE serve up three delectable dishes created by the irrespressible and inimitable Papa Haydn.
****1
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Carry on Cleo: Joélle Harvey triumphs at Glyndebourne

Sarah Connolly (Giulio Cesare) and Joélle Harvey (Cleopatra) © Bill Cooper
Interviewed at the time of this production's first outing, McVicar declared that “Entertainment is not a dirty word”. His Giulio Cesare remains a hugely entertaining opera production.
****1
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Strauss on screen: the OAE presents Rosenkavalier

Charlotte Beament © Boyd Gilmour
The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment resurrected with 1926 silent film of Strauss' Viennese comedy – with the lost ending pieced together – and gave a commendable performance of the reduced score.
***11
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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.