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Enrique Mazzola can’t stop smiling. In a clutch of impressive debuts coming up this season – including the Oslo and New Japan Philharmonics and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra – the young Italian conductor is particularly thrilled by the prospect of working with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with whom he will make his debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in November. ‘They are full of passion and life,’ he enthuses. ‘They really know what they want.’ Read the rest of this entry »

Leading up to the OAE’s forthcoming concert French Connections at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 9th November, we decided to play a piece from the programme to OAE office staff and film their reactions.  These are the responses from listening to Cherubini’s Overture Medée: 

Watch the Cherubini youtube clip we played them below and let us know your comments!

More info and tickets to French Connections concert on 9th November 2010 at QEH:  http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/find/music/classical/tickets/orchestra-of-the-age-of-enlightenment-50651

In danger of being a touch geeky, we thought we’d tell you something about pitch, how it’s not always been as it is now..

Pitch did not use to be standardized as it is today and was different from country to country and changed through the eras.  It is denoted by 2 coordinates, frequency (Hz) and note A in the middle of the treble staff. So A=415 is A at 415Hz.  Still awake? Good.

It was recently highlighted in the office when a Clavinova had to be tuned to A=415 in a rehearsal so that the choir were singing in the correct pitch.  Modern standardised pitch is A=440, which makes the A=415 of the Baroque era a G sharp to our ears.. A bit confusing for people with perfect pitch!

This gets tricky with fixed pitch instruments such as oboes and flutes which are of course designed to play specific pitches, whereas stringed instruments can be tuned to whatever pitch is needed. So when playing with period fixed pitch instruments one has to make sure every other instrument can be tuned to the same pitch and that you have a fairly large collection of pitch forks..

Just so you know, the last Night Shift on 20th October was A=415 (Baroque) and the upcoming ‘French Connections’ concert on 9th November (Cherubini/Mehul/Berlioz/Mozart) will be A=430. Come and see if you can tell the difference!

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