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This is a post from the weareoca.com archive. Information contained within it may now be out of date.   Last weekend I attended a concert given by the local choral and orchestral society in the acoustically rewarding setting of the local church, a warm and welcoming 15th-century masterpiece among the finest of East Anglian buildings. […]

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So farewell then, Ray Manzarek thumb

So farewell then, Ray Manzarek

This is a post from the weareoca.com archive. Information contained within it may now be out of date.   Sometimes an introduction becomes as famous as the piece that follows. The dramatic chords at the beginning of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto in Bb minor are instantly recognisable in their own right, even though their principal purpose […]

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Improvising Mozart … thumb

Improvising Mozart …

The harpsichordist George Malcolm once told me how he had been given a stern rebuke by a world famous maestro for filling out the continuo line whilst performing JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion. The gist of the complaint was that if ‘Herr Bach’ had wanted additional notes, he would have written them in the score. […]

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Unmusical history thumb

Unmusical history

The musical world is inclined to venerate Mozart rather too much, I would suggest.  It was not until he was 18 that he wrote the first of the very few accomplished symphonies of his lifetime (No 29, K201 in A)  and that was his 39th piece in that form – ten are unnumbered.   Throughout […]

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So what do the listeners make of it? thumb

So what do the listeners make of it?

A concert audience is a rather different creature now compared with what it once was, although it can give performers just as hard a time as reputedly in the 18th century.   It is not unusual for a singer in an Italian opera house to receive applause and shouts of ‘encore’ which, far from being flattering, […]

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What's in a name …? thumb

What's in a name …?

Looking up from the programme, a puzzled expression crossed the child’s face as he asked: ‘What’s a lieder recital?’  ‘A song recital’.  ‘So what’s lieder?’  ‘German for songs’.  ‘So why . . . .?’.   And well might the apparently naïve question be asked of a recital of chansons too. Is it not yet another curiosity […]

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Musical highlights of 2011 thumb

Musical highlights of 2011

Just before we turn off the lights and lock the door on 2011, here are the musical highlights – as chosen by members of the OCA music team. Duncan Druce:  For about a decade, each June, I’ve been spending a week (sometimes longer) in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, playing the violin at the English Haydn Festival. A […]

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