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Customer Discussions > Classical Music forum

Longest existing ensembles/orchestras

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Showing 1-18 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 25, 2012 10:20:52 AM PST
Not necessarily ensembles or orchestras that are still around - also those who WERE around for a long time.

Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra must be a contender

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

>>The orchestra's origins can be traced to 1743, when a society called the Grosses Concert began performing in private homes. In 1744 the Grosses Concert moved its concerts to the "Three Swans" Tavern. Their concerts continued at this venue for 36 years, until 1781. In 1780, because of complaints about concert conditions and audience behavior in the tavern, the mayor and city council of Leipzig offered to renovate one story of the Gewandhaus (the building used by textile merchants) for the orchestra's use.<<
Some of their most important leaders in history: Mendelssohn, Furtwangler, Bruno Walter.
I'm ashamed to say that I don't think I have even one recording with this orchestra.
Their string quartet must also be one of the oldest:
The Gewandhaus Quartet has existed since 1808 and is still around - as is costumary it consists of the concertmasters, solo violist and solo cellist of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. They premiered many great works - including Beethoven's Harp quartet in 1811.

The history of the VPO dates back to 1842

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 10:33:20 AM PST
KenOC says:
"The oldest orchestra in the European (classical) musical tradition is the Royal Danish Orchestra - known as "Det Kongelige Kapel" or "The Royal Chapel" in Danish - founded in 1448 by king Christian I and continuing to the present day." Or so it says.

" 1448 it would have been comprised mostly of singers, trumpets and drummers for ceremonial music. Today it resembles a modern symphony orchestra, with 114 full-time musicians, and performs with the Royal Danish Opera and the Royal Danish Ballet."

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 10:36:50 AM PST
K. G. says:
The Staatskapelle Dresden was founded in 1548 as, according to Wikipedia, Die Kurfürstlich-Sächsische und Königlich-Polnische Kapelle. I've always thought it was among the very best orchestras in the world, right up pretty much to the present day. The 1962 recording of the Rite of Spring under Otmar Suitner remains one of my absolute favorites, especially because of the remarkably strong brass section, which I'm not sure I've ever heard surpassed. Notable past conductors include Wagner, Weber, Schütz, Reiner, Böhm, Sanderling, Keilberth, and Konwitschny.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 10:45:43 AM PST

Jesus Christ! I should know that - it is one of my local orchestras here in Copenhagen. I don't think I ever heard them play though - not an opera person. But they do play symphonies and such as well.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 10:53:54 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2012 10:58:44 AM PST
According to Wiki, the NY Philharmonic is the oldest orchestra in the USA: "Organized in 1842, the [NYP] orchestra is older than any other extant American symphonic institution by nearly four decades; its record-setting 14,000th concert was given in December 2004".

I think there were orchestras in NYC before 1842, but they didn't survive, or they were folded into other orchestras. Today's NYP was actually formed in the 1920s by the blending of the NY Symphony and the NY Philharmonic. For many years thereafter, it was called the "Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New YorK". Its 1842 founding was probably that of the "original" NYP. So there is continuity back to that date, but with a couple of name changes.

The Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna had its own orchestra well before the VPO's founding in 1842. I don't know when the Gesellschaft orchestra was disbanded. The Gesellschaft's building, constructed in 1869 and referred to as "The Musikverein" is of course the home of the VPO now---and very possibly the finest concert room in the world.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 11:06:40 AM PST
According to Wiki, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra is playing in the third Gewandhaus:

"Gewandhaus is a concert hall in Leipzig, Germany, the home of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Today's hall is the third to bear this name; like the second, it is noted for its fine acoustics.
The first Gewandhaus was built in 1781 by architect Johann Carl Friedrich Dauthe.
The second opened on 11 December 1884, and was destroyed in the fire-bombings of World War II between 1943 and 1944.
The third Gewandhaus on Augustusplatz opened on 8 October 1981, two hundred years after the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra moved into the original hall".

One of my unrealized goals is to hear concerts in the new Gewandhaus, the new Philharmonie, and the old Concertgebouw.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 11:58:17 AM PST
Edgar Self says:
Ernie Kovacs's Nairobi Trio?

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 1:44:18 PM PST
carnola says:

Did they evolve into Bananarama?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 6:17:59 PM PST
HB says:
"I'm ashamed to say that I don't think I have even one recording with this orchestra (Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra)"


This Mahler 9th is now my favorite. The orchestral playing is absolutely sensational.

Mahler: Symphony No. 9

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 3:41:51 AM PST

Thank you for the recommendation. But I'm afraid I don't like Mahler... I haven't even heard the Ninth yet - I have the big Rattle box from EMI - I don't think it is Rattle I don't like, because I have had the same reaction to Abbado's Fifth and Solti's Eighth...

Posted on Nov 26, 2012 3:45:31 AM PST
Interesting fact:
The ensembles that claim to be authentic are the ones that have the shortest history...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 9:11:44 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 26, 2012 9:13:16 AM PST
Edgar Self says:
Thanks, carnola, I think you are right that Ernie Kovacs's Nairobi Trio evolved into Bananarama. I was afraid it was Oingo Boingo or Smashing Pumpkins. For minimalistic concentration of each player on his one note, the Nairobi Trio was ahead of its time.

Posted on Nov 26, 2012 10:16:46 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 26, 2012 10:25:17 AM PST
Larkenfield says:
Chailly did the Mahler edition of the Schumann Symphonies with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and I consider them outstanding performances... personal favorites... with a more romantic and lyrical approach on modern rather than period instruments than the Gardiner. The Gardiner of course is still outstanding. ♬

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 10:19:59 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 26, 2012 10:24:29 AM PST
Larkenfield says:
Edgar, I am a tremendous fan of Kovac's Nairobi Trio, and this is the definitely the oldest trio I know of where the musicians wear gorilla masks while being conducted with a ripe banana: ♬

Posted on Dec 1, 2012 8:29:09 AM PST
The longest existing string quartet playing with its original members was the Beethoven Quartet of Moscow - 41 years.
Amadeus comes in second - founded 1947, disbanded 1987 when their violist Peter Schidlof died.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 12:15:22 PM PST
There's the Thomanerchor Leipzig, which was founded in 1212 - according to Edgar's friend, Wiki. Actually, I saw an 800th anniversary disc for them out recently, so it may be more than coincidence. Leipzig has a tradition of traditions.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 1:02:34 PM PST

We will have to borrow Angelo's, Edgar's or John Ruggeri's Fred Flintstone equipment for playing recordings on pottery to hear that one!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 12:25:20 PM PST

Perhaps it is best if we travel to Edgar's place. His car runs on foot-power, and I'm curious to see his can opener.
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  18
Initial post:  Nov 25, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 2, 2012

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