Apollo's Fire

Program: A Night at Bach’s Coffeehouse

APOLLO’S FIRE  |  The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra
Jeannette Sorrell, Music Director

G.P. TELEMANN (1681-1767)

Don Quixote Suite (selections)


Don Quixote awakens

His attack on the windmills

Sighs of love for the Princess Dulcinea

Sancho Panza tossed in a blanket

Don Quixote asleep

J.S. BACH (1685-1750)

Brandenburg Concerto no. 4 in G Major, BWV 1049
Allegro  -  Andante  -  Presto
Olivier Brault, violin
Francis Colpron & Kathie Stewart, recorder

- Intermission –

Brandenburg Concerto no. 5, BWV 1050

Allegro  –  Affetuoso  - Allegro
Jeannette Sorrell, harpsichord

Kathie Stewart, traverso  |  Olivier Brault, violin

G.F. HANDEL (1685-1759)
Chaconne from Terpsichore (Il pastor fido), HWV 8c

A. VIVALDI/arr. Sorrell

La Folia (Madness)

...an explosive glimpse into early 18th century music. Apollo’s Fire specializes in high energy concerts in which only a dozen or so performers yet manage to bring musical fireworks to the stage.   The program balances a pair of Bach’s beloved Brandenburg Concertos with works by three of the master composer’s contemporaries:  Vivaldi, Telemann and Handel.  It’s a perfect opportunity to hear how some compositional ideas of the era carry across national borders, while others are more specific to an individual composer.

Named for the classical god of music and the sun, Apollo’s Fire was founded in 1992 by the award-winning young harpsichordist and conductor Jeannette Sorrell. Sorrell envisioned an ensemble dedicated to the baroque ideal that music should evoke the various Affekts or passions in the listeners. Apollo’s Fire is a collection of creative artists who share Sorrell’s passion for drama and rhetoric.

Hailed as “one of the pre-eminent period-instrument ensembles” (THE INDEPENDENT, London), Apollo’s Fire made its London debut in 2010 in a sold-out concert at Wigmore Hall, with a BBC broadcast. Subsequent European tours took place in 2011, 2014, and 2015. European performances include sold-out concerts at the BBC Proms in London (with live broadcast across Europe), the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), Madrid’s Royal Theatre, Bordeaux’s Grand Théàtre de l’Opéra, and major venues in Lisbon, Metz (France), and Bregenz (Austria), as well as concerts on the Birmingham International Series (UK) and the Tuscan Landscapes Festival (Italy).

AF’s London 2014 concert was praised as “an evening of superlative music-making… the group combines European stylishness with American entrepreneurialism” (THE TELEGRAPH, UK). This concert was chosen by the TELEGRAPH as one of the “Best 5 Classical Concerts of 2014.”

North American tour engagements include the Tanglewood Festival (sold-out debut in 2015), the Aspen Music Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival series, the Library of Congress, the Tropical Baroque Festival in Miami, the Ojai International Festival in California, and major venues in Toronto, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The ensemble has performed two major U.S. tours of the Monteverdi Vespers (2010 and 2014) and a 9-concert tour of the Brandenburg Concertos in 2013. Apollo’s Fire is signed to Columbia Artists Management (CAMI) for exclusive representation in North and South America, and is managed in the U.K. by Intermusica (London).

At home in Cleveland, Apollo’s Fire enjoys sold-out performances at its subscription series, which has drawn national attention for creative programming. Apollo’s Fire has released 21 commercial CDs, and currently records for the British label AVIE. Since the ensemble’s introduction into the European CD market in 2010, the recordings have won rave reviews in the London press: “a swaggering version, brilliantly played” (THE TIMES) and “the Midwest’s best-kept musical secret is finally reaching British ears” (THE INDEPENDENT). Five of the ensemble's CD releases have become bestsellers on the classical BILLBOARD chart: the Monteverdi Vespers, Bach's Brandenburg Concertos & Harpsichord Concertos, and Jeannette Sorrell’s three crossover programs - Come to the River – An Early American Gathering; Sacrum Mysterium- A Celtic Christmas Vespers; and Sugarloaf Mountain – An Appalachian Gathering. 

The program involves 16 performers: 7 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, 1 bass, 2 flutes, 1 theorbo, 1 harpsichord/conductor.

“The U.S.A.’s hottest baroque band” —ClassiCal MusiC Magazine, Uk

“Apollo’s Fire has forged a vibrant, life-affirming approach to the re-making of early music… European ears have begun to appreciate the blend of intellect and artistry concocted by harpsichordist Sorrell and her colleagues. Their seductive vision of musical authenticity is guided by a shared commitment to honest emotional expression, rooted in period style yet never its slave.”BBC Music Magazine