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.
Our Co-Principal Keyboardist Steven Devine gives us a peek behind the scenes as we kick off our nationwide education tour in Durham.
Wednesday 1 March 2017
A lot of OAE heading up to Durham today ready for early start TOTS concerts tomorrow. I’m not needed so I’m squeezing in some teaching and checking my harpsichord over for broken strings, etc – it’s a single-strung instrument so a broken string means that the note doesn’t work. Also there’s a lot of moving around to be done over the next couple of days and little time for repairs. I’m using this particular instrument as it’s very easy to move by myself and takes 4 minutes to tune (that single-strung thing again) – very useful when a whole school is arriving in the hall before a concert…Read More
If you were at one of our recent performances of Bach’s St Matthew Passion you will have noted the absence of a usually ubiquitous figure – the conductor.Read More
On 12 June we filled the airwaves with our live concert of Gamechangers: Mildly Rude? featuring music from William Boyce and Handel at Queen Elizabeth Hall. Whether you were there or listening at home, many of you shared your thoughts via the magic of the interweb. Here we share some of your comments. But first, a word from the critics.Read More
Boyce’s Solomon – A Serenata was wildly popular in its day and even eclipsed Handel’s Messiah in the popularity stakes. But it’s libretto was perhaps slightly racy and it fell foul of later, more prudish, tastes.
Watch the video below for a sneak peek at our rehearsals.Read More
On 12 June, Steven Devine will direct the OAE in Gamechangers: Mildly Rude? Here we spoke with him about Bach and The Butterfly Effect…
We’re very pleased to announce that we’ve added a concert entitled Mildly Rude? to our 2013/2014 Southbank Centre season. Rounding off our Gamechangers series, it’s a opportunity to hear music from one of Britain’s unsung classical heroes, William Boyce.Read More
For those of you who haven’t tried out one of our The Works concerts yet, we’ve got a great event coming up this month at Southbank Centre on 26 March.Read More
Next in our series of audience / orchestra interviews is our chat with OAE co-principal keyboardist Steven Devine and audience member Susann.Read More
Steven Devine is one busy man- he’ll be on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune later today chatting about our concert with Ian Bostridge next week and performing some fabulous music from Bach. Tune in from 4.30pm!
The broadcast will be available on BBC iPlayer for seven days afterwards. He can be heard 1 hour and 21 minutes into the show.Read More
Ahead of next Wednesday’s concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with Ian Bostridge singing some of Bach’s greatest music, we caught up with OAE Co-Principal keyboard player, Steven Devine, who’ll be directing from the harpsichord and organ…Read More
Here’s our brand-new podcast for November. As ever, it’s a packed edition. First off we speak to regular OAE collaborator, violinist Rachel Podger, about her upcoming project with us – 1700s London and the Fab Four, a concert featuring music from Haydn, Abel, Arne and JC Bach that you can hear in both London and Bradford-on-Avon. Then we catch up with Education Director Cherry Forbes backstage at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where we find out more about her role and what the OAE Education team gets up to. Next up is OAE Co-Principal Keyboard player Steven Devine who tells us about his favourite recordings, including a VERY unusual version of Handel’s Messiah (hear a more conventional one from us on 6 Dec at the Royal Festival Hall!). Lastlywe take a look back to September, when Robert Levin joined us to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23 – in a special interview he tells us about the piece and his approach to it. Happy listening!
The podcast will soon also be available on itunes.Read More
Henry Purcell Dido & Aeneas
An opera in three acts
with Sarah Connolly, Gerald Finley, Lucy Crowe, Patricia Bardon, William Purefoy, Sarah Tynan, John Mark Ainsley, Carys Lane and Rebecca Outram.
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Choir of the Enlightenment
Elizabeth Kenny & Steven Devine music directors
Total Playing Time: 69.49
One of the recurring fixtures in the OAE’s diary is our annual series of lunchtime concerts at St George’s, Bristol, one of our most regular venues out of London.
There are usually four lunchtime concerts in the series, given by the soloists of the Orchestra, which then go on to be broadcast by BBC Radio 3, and are also often performed elsewhere too – for example as part of our recent Baroque. Contrasted. festival at Kings Place. Indeed, if you scroll down to our April postings you’ll find some info on the composers featured – one example here.
The most recent set of these concerts is being broadcast this week by BBC Radio 3, and the music includes pieces by well known Baroque names such as Bach and Handel, alongside some real rarities. Of course, though they’re broadcast at lunchtime, through the BBC’s Listen Again feature you can listen anytime within a week after the broadcast date.
The BBC also produced a short film to accompany the concerts which features rehearsal footage plus interviews with musicians Margaret Faultless (violin) and Steven Devine (keyboard)
The programmes are being broadcast at 1pm Tuesday to Friday this week, and you can listen to them on the links below:
Tuesday – Refelctions on the Grand Tour – music for Cornetts and Sackbuts
Wednesday – Bach, Handel and Purcell – Wind soloists of the OAE
Thursday – Vivaldi and Corelli – String soloists of the OAE
Friday – Handel, Vivaldi and Coreli – Wind and String soloists of the OAE
On 6 April our next mini-festival at Kings Place, Baroque. Contrasted. kicks off with 5 days of concerts, talks, demonstrations and even singing-along showcasing the depth and variety of Baroque Music. We asked around the office to see what people here are most looking forward to:
I’m really looking forward to Steven Devine’s Sing Baroque event on 9 April. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to stretch my vocal chords and being able to sing choruses from the beautiful Dido & Aeneas is a pretty decent way to spend a Saturday lunchtime 🙂
Natasha Stehr, Marketing and Press Officer
It’s hard to chose, because there’s lots of fab music. I’m going to chose two events. First, Baroque Strings on 7 April, because it includes Vivaldi’s La Folia variations. It’s what the German’s call an ‘earworm’ – i.e. a tune you can’t get out of your head which just goes round and round on repeat…My second pick would be Sunday’s coffee concert. Not only is it just really lovely to start your Sunday with a coffee and great music, but it’s always fantastic seeing the students on our Apprenticeship scheme play. Plus the concert includes Purcell’s Abdelazar, which reminds me of playing it in my school orchestra – though I suspect this performance will be considerably better…
William Norris, Communications DirectorRead More
Who knew such adjectives would be applied to a little known Baroque (or early Classical?) composer? But those are the words of OAE players and conductor Sir Roger Norrington, when asked to describe the music of CPE Bach. Steven Devine, who plays Harpsichord, goes on to say he’s ‘a bit of a maniac’. Who knew? In our latest video OAE players and Sir Roger talk about this fantastically exciting and unusual music, which we play tomorrow at Southbank Centre. You can find out even more about the music in our Study day on Saturday, with some serious study of CPE Bach in the morning and a performance and player discussion in the afternoon.[vimeo http://vimeo.com/27145450 w=412&h=300] Read More
A while back, photographer Karen Robinson was commissioned by Southbank Centre to take pictures of the Resident Orchestras and their major artists, with a view to using the images for the Southbank Centre’s 2010-2011 Classical Music Season. You may well have already seen the photographs in the Southbank’s Classical Music Guide. As part of the project, Karen spent a day with the OAE as we rehearsed and performed Vivaldi’s L’estro armonico at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The results are fantastic, and a wonderful glimpse into what happens backstage at a concert. Here’s an initial selection (from the afternoon rehearsal), and more will follow.
William Norris, Marketing DirectorRead More
Last night was the second evening of our week of events Henry George Jospeh Felix at Kings Place, and it also saw the first Aftershow. This is a new idea whereby after the main concert the audience are able to enjoy a short informal performance in the bar afterwards. For this event Double Bassist Chi-chi Nwanouku and ‘cellist Richard Tunnicliffe played Rossini’s Duetto for cello and bass and also treated us to a special arrangement of the aria voi che sapete from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. A good crowd stayed for the event, and there will be another Aftershow after this evening’s 9pm concert of Bonduca when Soprano Elizabeth Weisberg and Alto Timothy Travers Brown will be joined by harpsichordist Steven Devine for a short performance of songs by Purcell.Read More