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The OAE Experience Ensemble

Performed on 10th November 2023

St. Michael & All Angels, Pond Road, Blackheath SE3 9JL


The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) runs an annual scheme for exceptional young players to work alongside players from the OAE in courses, masterclasses, education projects and chamber concerts. Haydn’s symphonies are the backbone of the Experience projects. In workshops and rehearsals, students explore Haydn’s musical language and performance practice. They also discuss the intensely social aspects of the writing and the effects of this on their music-making and the interaction with the audience. The aim is to treat symphonies as enlarged chamber music with the whole group influencing and leading aspects of the rehearsals and performance.




In 1986, a group of inquisitive London musicians took a long hard look at that curious institution we call the Orchestra, and decided to start again from scratch. They began by throwing out the rulebook. Put a single conductor in charge? No way. Specialise in repertoire of a particular era? Too restricting. Perfect a work and then move on? Too lazy. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment was born.

Since then, the OAE has shocked, changed and mesmerised the music world. Residencies at Acland Burghley School, the Southbank Centre and Glyndebourne haven’t numbed its experimentalist bent. Record deals haven’t ironed out its quirks. Period-specific instruments have become just one element of its quest for authenticity.

Today the OAE is cherished more than ever. It still pushes for change, and still stands for excellence, diversity and exploration. More than thirty years on, there’s still no orchestra in the world quite like it.

Programme - Friday 10th November 2023, 7.30pm

Classical Drama by Haydn and Mozart
Margaret Faultless, Director
Haydn’s genius as a composer of symphonies and Mozart’s genius as an opera composer stand out for players and audiences alike. By the time the two Haydn symphonies in this programme were written (1772), Haydn had been at the court in Esterhazy for a decade. He knew his musicians, the Prince and his courtiers very well, and he understood their musical tastes. He knew how to excite them with his stream of new symphonies in which he constantly stretched the boundaries of the genre. We take a snap shot of Haydn at his most inventive and creative in which he teases us with witty ideas, sets up our expectations only to thwart them and plays with our emotions from the heights and the depths.
Fifteen years later, in 1787, Mozart was writing arguably the most dramatic opera of his life – the incomparable Don Giovanni. In order to experience substantial works in a chamber setting it was a common practice to create arrangements – of operas in particular, and this version for wind octet highlights the drama of Don Giovanni with brilliance and charm.
Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809)
Symphony No. 47 The Palindrome in G Major
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Wind octet arrangements from Don Giovanni
Joseph Haydn
Symphony No. 44 Trauer in E minor