Friday, August 2, 2013

Eubo's Big Bash in Bruges

After completing our second full day of rehearsals in Bruges towards our biggest program of the year, Handel: A Royal Celebration, the hotels in Bruges are especially full. The program includes Handel's four coronation anthems (1727), the Birthday ode for Queen Anne (1713), as well as the Op. 3, no. 2 concerto grosso. To perform with us comes the Choir of Clare College Cambridge and the Eubo brass and percussionist, who arrived yesterday. To see the whole group performing together is quite an impressive sight, especially in Sint Warburgakerk.

The church where we will be performing tomorrow night is an impressive display of baroque architecture. With a white and black marble floor, the interior masonry is beautifully ornamented from floor to ceiling and the walls are covered in various 17th and 18th century oil paintings depicting biblical scenes. You can take a look at the facade and the east end interior below.

Early in our first rehearsal with the choir this morning we worked on The King Shall Rejoice, the third of Handel's 1727 coronation anthems. In the beginning of the second fugal movement, the orchestra plays the first note and then leaves the choir to sing four and a half bars before returning, guns a'blazing. For the orchestra, this was our first moment where we gave the singers our full attention. As the introduction progressed, a couple of heads turned towards the choir and smiles appeared on other's faces. I remember my first thought being "Shit, these guys can sing." The Clare College choir is, hands down, the best choir I've ever worked with and I look forward to seeing our polished performances together.

As you may have noticed, to the right of this column (on the proper webpage, not the mobile site) I've added the kickstarter widget. If you're reading this blog then it is 98% likely you know we've been fundraising to record the above-mentioned program September at St. John Smith's square, London. We're now only 9 days away and still have about £400 to go and I heartily encourage you to help out. I'm not usually very bothered about these sorts of things, but we're so close as it is (the total goal is £2,800) that it would be quite disappointing if we were not to make our target.

For those of you who don't know about kickstarter you can read all about it on a previous post I wrote about the dynamic bassoon quartet, the Breaking Winds. Essentially though, if we don't make our target by the deadline, all of the money pledged does not get transferred to EUBO. We can only collect if we have met or exceeded the target. Think about it!

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