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We’ve had the first reviews in for our concert of The Dream of Gerontius on Tuesday – plus one bloggers view and a mini Twitter review. What did you think?

The Times

Classical Source

Planet Hugill Blog

Andrew Mellor Twitter Review

Our next Night Shift is coming up on 5 December – in the 10pm concert Marin Alsop is conducting Mozart Symphony No. 40, while before the concert there is live music from cellist Andy Nice. Afterwards DJ Rico Portland is playing until 1am, and we’re giving you the chance to choose a track to play as part of his set.  He’s shortlisted 6 tracks and you can vote for your choice here, and listen to the tracks on the You Tube links below:

1) Deadmau5 – Strobe
2) Kenneth Bager ft Julee Cruise – Fragment Two (The First Picture)
3) Mandalay – Beautiful (Canny Remix)
4) First State – Reach Me
5) Rob D – Clubbed to Death
6) FC Kahuna – Hayling


Find out more about The Night Shift and book tickets at the special minisite

Here are a few pictures of our Principal Trombonist Sue Addison with Elgar’s orginal trombine which will have its first performance in a concert since Elgar’s death tomorrow evening at the Royal Festival Hall. All pics by Joe Plommer.

As many of you will have heard on the radio or read in the press our performance tomorrow will feature Edward Elgar’s orginal trombone, played by our Pricipal Trombone, Sue Addison. This will be the first time it has been played in concert since Elgar’s death. Below are some links to various press stories and we’ll post some pics of the trombone very shortly.

The Times




Tom Service Guardian Blog

Ahead of our performance of it next week at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall we asked OAE Principal Oboe and Gerontius enthusiast Tony Robson about the piece:

The Elgar ‘Dream’ is new ground for the OAE and presents lots of challenges to the orchestra but I fully expect it to rise to those challenges with its usual enthusiasm and determination. We are lucky to have  [ choir ] Ex Cathedra on board, as the choral writing in Gerontius is very demanding. It’s well known that the premiere of this work in Birmingham in 1900 (pictured) was little short of a disaster, the Chorus in particular being heavily castigated by the critics of the time. In their defence, there were particular difficulties which led to adequate preparation being well-nigh impossible; their excellent Chorus Master E. Swinnerton Heap suffered a fatal heart attack just months before the premiere and his tired and old replacement William Stockley was quite out of sympathy with both the content and demands of Elgar’s score. The composer and his publisher were both tardy in getting material out to the choir in good time and, unbelievably, the chorus only had their own single parts in their copies so that each section didn’t have the faintest idea what notes or rhythm their colleagues in the rest of the choir were singing! No wonder there were problems! We certainly won’t be having a repeat of that with our exceptional choir. Read the rest of this entry »

Here are a selection of reviews from our performance of Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan last Saturday at the Royal Festival Hall:

The Times


Financial Times

Arts Desk


Last week I went along to the opening of the Philharmonia’s re-rite installation on the Southbank. It’s a very hard thing to describe but its esentially an installation which allows you to get inside Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Each room of the fantastically atmospheric bargehouse (behind the OXO tower) is devoted to a different section of the Orchestra and you get to see and hear that section’s part of the music in ‘close-up’ but also as part of the whole piece. All the rooms play in sync so the whole building becomes infused with the rite. There are also chances to play the percussion in the piece and be the conductor. Anyway, its very hard to explain, so here are some pics. Its only on until the end of the weekend so I do encourage you to go!

William Norris, Marketing Director

‘A vigorous work-out of Haydn symphonies’ is how The Times described OAE’s opening concert of the Southbank 2009-10 season.  At dawn, a couple of days later, the 42 players checked in at Heathrow for a repeat of the all-Haydn programme in Cologne, some still jet-lagged after recent flights from Montreal (Yannick), Sydney (Nancy) and Kathmandu (Jan).  Neal’s flute had disappeared after the London concert, but Lisa has kindly loaned him another instrument until his turns up.

In Cologne Yannick leapt onto the platform of the Philharmonie, sporting a new ‘Nightshift’ T-shirt (what on earth does the pink shrimp-like logo represent?).  Read the rest of this entry »

I was just trawling through the net trying to find some coverage about a festival we did a few seasons ago when I came across this clanger on the Radio 3 website:

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment : Listening in Paris , 5 th October to 24 th November 2005 at the QEH. Conductors include Jean Féry Rebel, Frans Brüggen and Vladimir Jurowski.

Unless my memory is playing up I don’t remember Maestro Rebel conducting us at the time – perhaps not surprising as he died in 1747…

William Norris, Marketing Director

Our new podcast is just out and can be listened to below – and will be available on itunes shortly. It features singer Christopher Purves and conductor Sir Mark Elder talking about Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan and OAE Principal Oboe Anthony Robson talking abour Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius.

You can also download the podcast here.

Please note that the clip from Maria Di Rohan (supplied with thanks to Opera Rara) is not from the forthcoming recording but is with Nelly Miricioiu and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

We perform Maria di Rohan at the Royal Festival Hall on 7 November (tickets), and The Dream of Gerontius at the Royal Festival Hall on 24 November (tickets), withe further performances in Birmingham Town Hall on 28 and 29 November (tickets).

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November 2009

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