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Ancient music gets a thrilling new lease of life...

The Academy of Ancient Music is one of the world's first period instrument ensembles. Back in 1973, most orchestras played classical music in a modern style. The instruments were different; the pitch was different; the number of players was different; the very essence and spirit of performances was different. But change was in the air. Wouldn’t it be great, people asked, if we could find out more about composers’ original intentions and get closer to the style in which music was originally performed? This was the spirit in which Christopher Hogwood founded the AAM – with the whole orchestra working together to rediscover sounds which hadn’t been heard for hundreds of years. They revel in the expressive power of old instruments - flutes made out of wood, trumpets without valves, strings woven from gut. It’s not just the sound of the music which has changed - AAM performances are full of energy and passion and joy.


Bach Concerto for Oboe d'amore in D major, BWV1053

Vivaldi Concerto for Violin in G minor, RV316a

Albinoni Concerto for Oboe in D minor, Op.9, No.2

Vivaldi Concerto for 2 Violins in A minor, RV522

Bach Italian Concerto, BWV971

A. Marcello Concerto for Oboe in D minor, S.Z799

JS Bach was largely a self-taught composer and throughout his life he learnt by transcribing the music of his contemporaries. This programme brings together works by several of those he learnt from and admired including Albinoni, Vivaldi and A Marcello.

At the time of its composition, Bach's Italian Concerto was described as the most perfect example of a concerto for a single instrument by a contemporary critic and pays clear homage to Vivaldi.  The music for solo oboe in the programme shows how it came to be regarded as the jewel in the crown of a baroque orchestra with a sound that could hold its own against the more rowdy trumpet, but at the same time match the flexibility and sonority of the human voice.

The Academy of Ancient Music play at The Apex on Thursday 23 February at 7.30pm. Tickets are £28 & £25 (£26 & £23 concessions), with £5 tickets for those aged under 25. Ring the box office on 01284 758000 or see the website - for details.


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