Tuesday 7 December 2021

From a year-long exploration of rare Telemann to Bach at Christmas: adventures online with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment - Telemann’s Essercizii Musici

Using filmed performance online can enable ensembles to do things rather differently to their concert hall presence. And now that they have returned to live concert giving, the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment is doing just that. 

Telemann’s Essercizii Musici is a colourful feast of 24 musical delights; dating from around 1740 (or before) it consists of 12 solo sonatas (for flute, violin, viola da gamba, recorder, oboe) and 12 trio sonatas. It is difficult to do justice to the collection in concert, and the pieces were not intended to be performed en masse. So, over a year, OAE Player is featuring a monthly concert, Tales with Teleman which will include music from Essercizii Musici, thus enabling us to explore the complete collection. The journey started last month, and November's episode features Violin Sonata in F major and Trio for oboe, violin and basso continuo in G major alongside one of Telemann's sacred cantatas. And the performers don't just include members of the OAE and rising stars, but also students from the orchestra's home, Acland Burghley School reading from Aesop's Fables.

Also released this month on OAE Player, Look no bass! is an intriguing recital in which the violinists from the OAE present music for violins alone, from concertos for four violins by Telemann to arrangements of Matthew Locke, John Adson and Gabrieli. 

Further ahead, there is more conventional Christmas repertoire; on 17 December the OAE joins forces with the choir of Clare College, conductor Graham Ross, for Bach's Magnificat (the version with Christmas interpolations) and Handel's Dixit Dominus, with a fine cast of young soloists, Lucy Knight and Emilia Morton (sopranos), James Hall (counter-tenor), Hugo Hymas (tenor) and Andrew Davies (bass). Further information from OAE website.

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