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Pianist and scholar Robert Levin appeared with us last night in two concerts (a 7pm and a Night Shift) and today has been on a bit of a media blitz, appearing on Radio 4’s Today programme and the World Service too. There’s also something in the Evening Standard.
The reason? Well Robert has been talking about two things. Last night he performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23 with us, and Robert’s research strongly points to it being written for a pupil of his, Barbara Ployer, something previously unknown. One of the reasons he suspects this is that he found a coda written for the piece, which was intended for Barbara, and this coda hasn’t been performed for at least 200 years. But alongside this, Robert has been talking about how we perform Mozart these days. Modern performance very much sticks to what is written on the page, with no deviation. But Robert argues that in Mozart’s day there would have been a lot of free rein given to the soloist, to embellish the basic musical line, improvise around it etc. In fact, Robert, argues that his hero, Duke Ellington, is really like a modern-day Mozart.
Robert is performing the Concerto with us again on 4 October, as part of our very first The Works event. In the event he’ll be joined by presenter Suzy Klein, and the first half of the concert will be given over to a ‘guided tour’ of the concerto. More on the event in this previous blog post.
Here’s Robert talking about the concerto, plus links to today’s coverage.
Better late than never, here’s the recording of our pre-concert talk from our 4 June concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. For this talk we were joined by Sarah Bardwell, director of the Handel House Museum, who talked about Handel, and musical life in London during his time.
Later this week we’re reunited with our Principal Artist, Vladimir Jurowski to start rehearsals for a tour with him. The first two dates of the tour take in San Sebastian and Edinburgh (for the festival), with a programme of Weber, Mendelssohn (the violin concerto with Alina Ibragimova) and Liszt’s epic Faust Symphony. While you may know the Weber and Mendelssohn, you may well not know the Liszt, so we’ve put together a Spotify playlist of the entire programme for your listening pleasure. More on the tour in due course…
Last night’s concert of Mozart and Haydn with Sir Simon Rattle and the Labèque sisters was broadcast LIVE from the Royal Festival Hall by Radio 3, and it’s available to listen to all over again online here for the next 6 days. Enjoy! Listen to the concert here
We have a brand new podcast just out – in a jam-packed edition we talk to OAE Leader Alison Bury about our upcoming A celebration of Handel concert, take the train down to Glyndebourne to get Principal Oboe Anthony Robson’s top CD picks and then come back to London to find out what a day in the life of an Orchestra Chief Executive is like, when we talk to OAE boss Stephen Carpenter. Lastly, with our 25th Anniversary approaching in June, Helen Wallace (who wrote our 21st anniversary book, Spirit of the Orchestra) talks about the origins and history of the OAE. Happy listening!
Here’s the latest in our series of pre-concert talks which we’re making available as podcasts. In this talk from our Baroque. Contrasted. Festival, Tom Irvine, a music historian from the University of Southampton, talks about Bach’s Double Violin Concerto and Purcell’s Fairy Queen.