Dispatches from Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s pub crawl

Posted on: February 7, 2012

Monday (2/6) on the Guardian online, Maggie Faultless writes, “The ‘rules’ of concert-going today—sit still, keep quiet, concentrate, only applaud at the end of a piece—often make us feel uncomfortable, and produce a less than authentic experience. And, of course, the other way most of us tend to listen to music—on headphones, sealed into our private own world—would be similarly incomprehensible to composers, musicians and audiences of previous centuries. … The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment—where I’m joint leader—are mid-way through something a little unusual. We’re out on the road on tour, but rather than concert halls, our venues are London pubs. Our aim is to put the social back into music. The music that we’re playing—Purcell, from the 17th century and Italian chamber music from the 18th—was after all, written to be played in domestic settings, not to a hushed, seated and reverential audience. We’re including some of Purcell’s drinking songs, songs that would have been played in London pubs just like this, where his audience wouldn’t have been sitting quietly—on the contrary!”

Posted February 7, 2012