Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Introducing the Baroque Double Bass

Fri 10 Aug 2018

‘A whole hillside of sheep goes into making the bottom string’.

Cecelia Bruggemeyer, our long-time double bass player, introduces its baroque ancestor.

NB

Violone: literally ‘big viol’ ; a general term used to refer to baroque bass instruments of various sizes and tunings

Bass:
1. a general word for a non-specified bass instrument or bass line
2. shorthand for double bass

Double-bass (Eng.), Contrebasse (Fr.): a bass stringed instrument that sounds an octave lower than the written pitch

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Introducing Mozart’s Fortepiano

Thu 19 Jul 2018

“It really changes the way we think about the music”.

Our Co-Principal Keyboard, Steven Devine, introduces the predecessor of the modern piano, the fortepiano.

It’s the type of instrument Haydn, Mozart and the young Beethoven would have known and composed for.

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Why is it called the Surprise Symphony? The secret of Haydn’s success

Mon 9 Jul 2018

Haydn’s Surprise Symphony isn’t just one dramatic moment. Our Chief Executive Crispin explains why Haydn is the ‘King of Symphonies’.

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The Science of Attraction

Mon 18 Jun 2018

Is love what you think it is?

Our Baroque dance spectacular, Dangerous Liaisons, tells a classic love story. But in the Baroque era, composers were influenced by a very different theory of why people fell in love than we have now.

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A lost art: music in silent film

Mon 14 May 2018

Why did silent films have music? How do orchestras perform to silent films?

We asked Ben Winters (senior lecturer in music at the Open University and expert on music in films) to explain.

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Introducing Haydn’s oboe

Fri 4 May 2018

“I always feel that playing these instruments is like doing a tight-rope walk without any kind of safety net…”

Our co-principal oboe Dan Bates introduces the instrument that composer Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) would have been familiar with.

Hear Dan perform at our next Turning Points event at Kings Place, Kings Cross, London:

Sat 12 May 2018
First and Last of a Great Genius
Haydn Symphony no. 1 Haydn Symphony no. 104 London

Find out more

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Der Rosenkavalier

Fri 20 Apr 2018

We’re going to the cinema for a recreation of a remarkable cinema event that first took place in London in 1926.

See the silent film version of the great opera Der Rosenkavalier, while we play live the soundtrack Richard Strauss wrote to accompany the film.

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Introducing Mozart’s Horn

Mon 16 Apr 2018

The first of a new series of videos exploring the instruments of the ‘classical’ era (1750-1820).

Principal Horn Roger Montgomery looks at the instrument that would have been used to perform Mozart’s horn concertos.

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Mozart’s naughty notes

Thu 12 Apr 2018

Mozart illustrated the score for the Rondo from his Horn Concerto No.1 with a series of naughty notes and jokes aimed at his horn player friend, Joseph Leutgeb.

Read the notes as we perform it at Conway Hall with our Principal Horn Roger Montgomery.

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Mark Padmore explores Bach’s St Matthew Passion

Mon 26 Mar 2018

“It’s designed to disturb. It should get under the skin and worry us.”

Mark Padmore explores Bach’s St Matthew Passion, and the advantages of performing it without a conductor.

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Behind the scenes with Nicola Benedetti

Mon 5 Feb 2018

“Challenging in different ways but so enjoyable.”

Nicola Benedetti chats about performing Beethoven on period instruments as she joins us on tour around the UK and US.

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Symmetry in music: Particle physicist Tara Shears

Thu 4 Jan 2018

Professor Tara Shears came to talk to us about antimatter as part of our Bach, the Universe and Everything series at Kings Place. We learnt there is more connecting Bach and particle physics than you might imagine.

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What is a Cantata?

Fri 24 Nov 2017

What exactly is a Cantata?

Bach wrote over 200 of these mini-operas in his role as Cantor at various churches. Their sheer volume and unfamiliarity might seem overwhelming, but don’t let that put you off. Our co-principal keyboard Steven Devine explains all as he accompanies soprano Rowan Pierce in Bach’s Cantata Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten (Yield now, troubling shadows) BWV202.

 

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Soprano Louise Alder gives her thoughts on Handel’s Semele

Wed 18 Oct 2017

“I think there’s a fine line between healthy love and manic obsession, so perhaps she’s crossing into it..” Soprano Louise Alder chats about her role as Semele in Handel’s provocative opera.

Handel’s Semele, Wed 18 October 2017
Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall
Book now

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Is love what you think it is?

Wed 4 Oct 2017

Is love what you think it is? Ahead of our performance of Handel’s Semele at the Royal Festival Hall on Wed 18 October, 2017, we asked social philosopher Roman Krznaric how audiences would have viewed Semele’s story differently through the ages.

Roman Krznaric is joined by the OAE’s Martin Kelly for the pre-concert talk from 6pm in the Level Five Function Room.

Get tickets

Roman is author of The Wonderbox and Carpe Diem Regained – see romankrznaric.com.

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What Is Right and What is Wrong? The Judas Passion and St Matthew Passion

Fri 15 Sep 2017

What is right and what is wrong? Can the ultimate betrayal ever be forgiven? There are two very different visions of the Easter story in our 2017/18 season.
The Judas Passion
St Matthew Passion

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Introducing the baroque bassoon

Thu 24 Aug 2017

Who called who a nanny goat bassoonist?  Our Co-Principal bassoon Peter Whelan tells all as he introduces the baroque bassoon.

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Introducing the Baroque Violin

Mon 5 Jun 2017

‘The gut strings make a more gutsy sound’

If you think a violin from the 18th Century is the same as one made yesterday, think again…

Violinist Huw Daniel reveals the differences between the baroque instrument and the modern one.

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Introducing the Baroque Oboe

Fri 19 May 2017

‘The lack of keys on this instrument should never be seen as a disadvantage.’

Our Co-Principal Oboe Katharina Spreckelsen on why the quirks of the Baroque oboe make it so exciting.

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Introducing the Baroque Flute

Fri 12 May 2017

“The wood makes the sound gentler and more… woody”

Meet the flute that our principal Lisa Beznosiuk uses for playing Bach, Handel, Rameau and people like that.

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