The Ensemble Berlin Prag is a relatively new chamber music group. Founded in 2011 by three Philharmoniker musicians and three Czech instrumentalists, the intention of the members is to present performances of little-known wind chamber music in authentic style. The idea for this ensemble originated in 2005 when bassoonist Mor Biron, a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker since 2007, and oboist Vilém Veverka decided to make music together as part of their training at the Phiharmoniker’s Karajan Academy. Under the direction of Dominik Wollenweber, who plays cor anglais with the Berliner Philharmoniker and is now also a member of the ensemble, they studied trio sonatas by Jan Dismas Zelenka and François Couperin.
The musical beginnings of something big, because the desire to continue to perform the works of these two composers in public was instrumental in the formation of the Ensemble Berlin Prag. Today, the pieces form the core repertoire of the chamber music group. The Trio Sonata cycle by Jan Dismas Zelenka for two oboes, bassoon and basso continuo makes similar demands in terms of interpretation and scope as the Brandenburg Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach. The highly virtuoso instrumental parts show that Zelenka, thanks to his work at the court of the Saxon Elector in Dresden, then had top talent at his disposal for the realisation of his music. The trio sonata, in which two solo melodic instruments play over a basso continuo, was the most popular chamber music genre during the Baroque; almost all great composers have written works for this genre. In his Sonata cycle Les Nations, François Couperin, who was organist and harpsichordist at the court of Louis XIV, characterised the various styles of European nations in his Sonata cycle Les Nations, including the music of the Iberian Peninsula in L’Espagnole.
The Trio Sonata BWV 530 is one of a series of six sonatas Johann Sebastian Bach collated in a manuscript for organ music. The Ensemble Berlin Prag presents the work in an arrangement by Klaus Thunemann for oboe, cor anglais, bassoon, harpsichord and viola da gamba. Two pieces by Korean composer Isang Yun, the 100th anniversary of whose birth is celebrated in 2017, form a musical counterpoint to the works of the Baroque.