Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
The Faculty of Music was delighted to welcome back the OAE and Contrapunctus in a programme specifically designed for the magnificent Sheldonian Theatre. This year was the tercentenary of the Treaty of Utrecht,which marked the end of the War of the Spanish Succession. This momentous event for the whole of Europe was celebrated in England at thanksgiving services in St Paul’s Cathedral and in Oxford where the peace was marked by the performance on 10 July – at the ‘Oxford Act’ (a ceremony of which the surviving part is Encaenia) in the Sheldonian Theatre. Croft’s splendid works performed in this programme have suffered undue neglect, and they deserve to be much better known: this concert provided the wonderful opportunity to hear them in the space in which they were first performed three hundred years ago in 1713. The concert included Handel’s famous Utrecht Te Deumand the Ode on the Birthday of Queen Anne (‘Eternal source of light divine’), which likewise celebrates the achievement of peace. The OAE performed with the Choir of The Queen’s College.