The festival offers a snapshot of musical life at the point of Wren’s death, three hundred years ago in 1723. This was the year of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and the year Bach was appointed cantor in Leipzig; it was also a time of rebirth for London following outbreaks of bubonic plague and the Great Fire, with Henry Purcell at its forefront.
St Stephen Walbrook was the first church exclusively designed by Sir Christopher Wren of the 52 that were built by him following the Great Fire of London in 1666. Its design became the blueprint for the great dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, completed three decades later. Key to the major restoration of the church completed in 1987 is Henry Moore’s marble altar placed centrally under the Dome.
Vivaldi: 21 April, 19:30-20:30
On Friday 21 April the festival continues with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons played by Kati Debretzeni, one of the OAE’s leaders. The Guardian writes of her, ‘Debretzeni’s joyful, spirited playing, precise but free, gives endless pleasure.’ Vivaldi’s cycle of four violin concertos, each depicting a season with visceral energy, is believed to have been completed in 1723, the year of Sir Christopher Wren’s death.
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment:
The OAE is a pioneering orchestra of specialists on historical instruments founded in 1986. Performing repertoire on instruments (or replicas) from the time the music was written, they are not aiming to recreate the past, but to create something that is exciting now, using historical information. With no music director, the musicians call the shots, offering trailblazing performances of music from throughout history.
There are no toilet facilities at the venue. The venue has limited accessibility, but provisions can be made for wheelchair users using the rear entrance to the church. Please make yourself known at the main entrance on arrival and we will assist you, and please purchase a wheelchair ticket.