The OAE is much more than one of the world's pre-eminent period instrument ensembles. It works regularly with conductors who specialise in both early music and the modern repertoire, and has explored the work of composers from Bach to Mahler, Handel to Borodin.
Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto sounds as fresh as if written in one burst of inspiration, but in fact cost the composer a great deal of time and effort revising it in the light of hearing early performances and advice from his violinist friends. The quicksilver finale is unadulterated enjoyment. Mozart's horn concerto is one of his most familiar and enjoyable works, with a famous hunting-style finale. Beethoven's eighth symphony, although his shortest, is a miracle of balance, compressing huge musical power into a tightly knit structure, and ending in a blaze of vitality.