Apollo's FireFor more than a decade, Apollo’s Fire has given audiences a taste of what music must have sounded like in the 17th and 18th centuries. Under the direction of Jeannette Sorrell, this award-winning Baroque ensemble based in Cleveland brings to life the secular and sacred works of widely diverse composers: the Bach family, Handel, Monteverdi, Salomone Rossi, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Schubert and many others. In a given season one might encounter a costumed and semi-staged production of La Favola d’Orfeo or Pergolesi’s La Serva padrona, or perhaps a “duel” between J. S. Bach and his more widely acclaimed contemporary Telemann. Care to indulge in street songs and popular culture of the times? Try out a moving, historically-informed performance of Messiah? See how passionate Bach can get in treating the crucifiction stories from St. Matthew and St. John? No better venue than Apollo’s Fire. All the remarkable colors of authentic instruments are there, and Sorrell’s sensitivity to nuance and detail ensures that voices and instruments capture the rhetorical riches of each piece. Performers from the U.S. and abroad bring superb talent to realize Sorrell’s vision. Sumptuous sound, satisfying presentation, stellar concept and just plain wonderful music: Apollo’s Fire.
— Judith Eckelmeyer 7/31/06