Corelli Baroque Orchestra (CBO), the period-instrument baroque orchestra from Estonia, performed for the first time in December 2006. The artistic director of the orchestra is Mail Sildos who plays baroque violin herself. CBO is the logical continuation to baroque ensemble Corelli Consort (started in 1992) and concert agency Corelli Music (active since 2004). The tradition of period-instrument baroque orchestra in Estonia has been going on for over twenty years and today Estonia has a huge privilege to own the full orchestra of professional musicians who play on authentic baroque instruments.
In few years of existence, CBO has received warm reception from both audience and critics who have especially marked the orchestra's gallant and tasteful phrasing, professionalism and joy of playing together. In over five years of existence, CBO has performed numerous brilliant classical large-scale works at the concert series Church Holidays in St. Mary's Land: J. S. Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 and Vivaldi's solo cantata Clarae stellae, scintillate; Bach's Magnificat, St. John's Passion, St. Matthew's Passion and Christmas Oratorio with the chamber choir Voces Musicales, conducted by Risto Joost. In the Summer of 2008, CBO, conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste, performed Händel's Water Music to celebrate Kadriorg park 290th anniversary. Summer 2009 brought collaboration with Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and conductor Daniel Reuss (Bach's motets) and Rapla Church Music Festival (Vivaldi's Gloria, Bach's Magnificat). In March 2010, CBO celebrated J. S. Bach's 325th anniversary with the performance of St John's Passion; in December 2010, CBO performed the Corelli's Concerto grosso Op. 6 No. 8 (Christmas Concerto), also J. S. Bach's works were performed with Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, conducted by Daniel Reuss. In May 2011, the orchestra performed a programme that consisted of works with natural horn by Händel, Telemann and Graun, the soloist and conductor was Teunis van der Zwart from the Netherlands. In 2011, the Christmas music festival programmed Schütz' Magnificat and Weihnachtshistorie, performed by CBO with two boys' choirs, conducted by Martin Sildos. On Palm Sunday of 2012, CBO in collaboration with chamber choir Collegium Musicale, conducted by Endrik Üksvärav, premiered several less-known cantatas by J. S. Bach in Estonia. In the Summer of 2012, CBO performed Händel's Water Music at the closing concert of the festival Towers of Tallinn, the concert took place on the Snelli pond, right next to medieval old town of Tallinn. The year 2012 ended with the baroque arias by J. S. Bach, Buxtehude and Händel, the soloist was Finnish counter tenor Teppo Johannes Lampela and conductor Martin Sildos.
There are lots of great musicians in Estonia who have been deeply engaged with early music issues for many years and continued studies in numerous master classes all over the world. The period instruments that are necessary to work in baroque orchestra have been mostly acquired by musicians' themselves and made by Estonian musical instrument makers such as Aaro Altpere, Taavi-Mats Utt, Peeter Talve, etc., or by foreign masters. All orchestra members are active in smaller ensembles that are dedicated to performing early music, both in Estonia (Corelli Consort, Cantores Vagantes, Rondellus, Tallinn Baroque, Estonian Baroque Soloists, Kiili Early Music Ensemble, etc.), also in Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and elsewhere, as guest musicians.
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