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Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Steven D. Brown
Fri Jan 12 2001 04:52
GMN is currently running a webcast featuring members of this period-instrument band discussing what they do and why they do it.

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment ranks among the best ensembles focusing on historical performance practice.

Not everyone agrees with this approach. So let us open the forum.

And be sure to check out the variety of shapes of oboes.

I don't know about you, but I love it!

Ok! Pipe in!
re: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Julian Thake
Sat Jan 13 2001 13:32
Given the choice I'd go for modern instruments 9 times out of 10, but the clarity of sound of a good period instrument performance can bring its own rewards. The OAE, to my ears, produce just about the most listener-friendly period sounds around.
re: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment mcdade
Mon Jan 15 2001 16:26
I think I'd say it depends on the repertoire. By and large anything before classical I would normally only want to listen to on period instruments (with obvious exceptions like Casals Bach etc). I find in Baroque music the style of playing more important than the actual sounds - the return of dance rhythms, the light textures, the faster speeds all serve to clean up this music and make it live again.
From Mozart onwards, I am less convinced. To use the example of Mozart I find it more important that the performer gets to the heart of the music rather than any issues of execution. The lessons of scholarship in this area seem more like the external dressing of the music rather than its essence. That said I am very much enjoying the Quartour Mosaiques in Haydn - though I htink this has more to do with wonderful musicians than any particular style of music making.
The OAE are always interesting and they do make you think about the music afresh but in an intellectual way rather than in a emotional or spiritual way. Like all orchestras they sound inspired with a good conductor, horrible without.
re: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment bduhamel
Mon Jan 22 2001 21:15
Yes, I agree that 'Period' performances have their place and some are quite stunning and refreshing. I do like the sound of period instruments somehwt, the seperation of each individual instrument is more clear I think. It does somewhat depend on the subject matter, and of course how far overboard the performers go to reach historical 'accuracy' which, to me, is ultimately impossible. I would like to add that I I find Tafelmusik to be quite a fine 'period' orchestra as well.


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