EUBO: Heaven’s Sweetness

Heaven’s Sweetness
European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO) & Singers of Barock Vokal
Alfredo Bernardini, director & oboe
St John’s, Smith Sq. 27 January 2017

Orchestral Suite No. 4 in D BWV 1069a (original version); 
Cantata: Liebster Immanuel, Herzog der Frommen BWV 123; 
Cantata: Süßer Trost, mein Jesus kömmt BWV 151;
Cantata: Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut BWV 117.

Image may contain: 2 people, people on stage and indoorPart of the 2015 expansion of the European Union Baroque Orchestra’s activities has been the EUBO Mobile Baroque Academy (EMBA), a cooperative project aimed at finding new and creative ways of addressing the unequal provision of baroque music education and performance across the European Union. The touring orchestra (EUBO) still forms the core activity of the EMBA, reforming each year with a new intake of talented young period instrumentalists chosen from educational auditions held each spring. For more than 30 years EUBO has provided specialist training and experience, and has encouraged and supported many of the top period instrument specialists around today. One such is the distinguished oboist and director Alfredo Bernardini, a member of the very first EUBO in 1985 and the director of this EUBO tour.

The current EUBO incarnation represents 14 different EU countries. They have been performing together since last July, and last performed in London in November 2016 (reviewed here) with a programme based on Handel and his London contemporaries. For this concert they focussed on Bach, performing three of the cantatas that he wrote for Leipzig festivals along with one of his most complex Orchestral Suites, here performed in the rarely heard original version, lacking the trumpets and timpani of the later version. Continue reading

European Union Baroque Orchestra: ‘A Taste of the Baroque’

European Union Baroque Orchestra: ‘A Taste of the Baroque’
Lars Ulrik Mortensen, director
St John’s, Smith Square, 3 December 2015

Muffat: Sonata No. 5 from Armonico Tributo
Biber: Sonata 10 and 4, from Sonatae tam aris quam aulis servientes
Marcello: Concerto for oboe in D minor
Telemann: Overture, Suite and Conclusion in D from Tafelmusik II

In the unlikely event of you ever feeling despondent about the future of music performance, or of the younger generation, an evening with the European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO) will soon restore your faith. This remarkable orchestra, formed in 1985, re-forms each year after intensive and educational, auditions held in the spring. They then meet several times during that year to rehearse and tour a series of programmes under a team of experienced ex-EUBO concertmasters and distinguished directors. This year’s season has been truncated because of a complicated bidding process for EU funding (which only partly covers EUBO’s costs). One of their partners in the newly formed ‘EUBO Mobile Baroque Academy’ is London’s St John’s, Smith Square concert hall. Continue reading