You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Apollo’s Fire’ tag.

by Daniel Hathaway

CIPC-Four-BowsThe laureates of most international piano competitions vanish into the ether once the medals are bestowed and prizes awarded. Not so with the Cleveland International Piano Competition, whose leadership has sought new ways to keep its prizewinners in the local public eye and ear.

On Saturday afternoon, August 23, CIPC organized a reunion of its four top winners from 2013, one year and two weeks after the final round when they played concertos in Severance Hall with The Cleveland Orchestra. Last year they faced off as competitors, but on Sunday in Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art, they paired up collaboratively to play J.S. Bach double keyboard concertos with Apollo’s Fire and, in the second half of the 4:00 pm concert, swapped partners to play two-piano works by Mozart, Milhaud and Rachmaninoff. A gala dinner for patrons followed the performance in the museum’s Atrium. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

AFatLECApollo’s Fire will present seven local subscription programs totaling thirty concerts during its 23rd season in 2014-2015. Additionally, Cleveland’s baroque orchestra will make its debut at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in December and at London’s BBC Proms next August, undertake a national tour of Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers in November, and appear on the Pittsburgh Renaissance & Baroque Society series in April.

The subscription concerts, to be presented in several venues, will begin with “Orchestral Fireworks,” the first of two celebrations of Johann Sebastian Bach’s 330th birthday. The programs will include works new to Apollo’s Fire’s repertory: the double harpsichord concerto in c (featuring artistic director Jeannette Sorrell and Joe Gascho), the Violin Concerto in E (featuring Olivier Brault) and the second orchestral suite (featuring flutist Kathie Stewart). The four concerts will run from October 9-12. Read the rest of this entry »

by James Flood

AF-Countryside-SorrellApollo Fire’s Sunday evening performance at the Baroque Music Barn in Hunting Valley shows why the early music/Baroque ensemble can and should make forays outside of classical and into the heart of American folk music. Their latest program “Glory on the Mountain,” is a follow-up to their highly successful “Come to the River” tour and CD, and is now in the midst of a 10 performance tour of the Cleveland area. “Glory on the Mountain” is an exploration into the music and culture of 18th and 19th century Appalachia, a place populated by British settlers. It combines haunting melodies, foot-stomping jigs and reels, stories, and a healthy dose of comedy, all with musicianship of the highest order. The audience sang, clapped, shed a few tears, and laughed, ultimately enjoying a taste of the good times that our mountain forebears must have had.

The program is an ingenious conception of Apollo’s Fire (AF) director, Jeanette Sorrell, and was apparently the fruit of considerable research. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin and Daniel Hautzinger

AF-Countryside-Sorrell“I’m excited because I feel like it might be one of the better things that I’ve put together,” Apollo’s Fire artistic director Jeanette Sorrell exclaimed about her new program during a recent interview. While putting together her previous Appalachian-inspired program, “Come to the River,” Sorrell said, “I was pretty much a newcomer to the field. This time I feel I’m starting from a deeper place.”

Beginning on Thursday, June 12, and continuing through Sunday, June 22, at venues throughout the area (see our concert listings page for times and locations), Apollo’s Fire will present “Glory on the Mountain: An Appalachian Journey.” The concerts will feature the mixture of fiddle tunes, ballads, shape-note hymns, and spirituals that typify Appalachian music. (An extra performance on Saturday, June 14 at 3:00 pm has just been announced.)

“With ‘Come to the River’ I spent two years researching fiddle tunes and ballads from Appalachia and it was a wonderful introduction into that repertoire. I had heard some lovely ballads when I was in the Shenandoah Valley as a teenager, but it was not the music that I was performing and studying as my profession,” Sorrell recalled. Read the rest of this entry »

by Timothy Robson

FORSYTHE-Amanda-greenThis weekend Apollo’s Fire, directed by Jeannette Sorrell, gave four performances of their latest program, The Power of Love: Passions of Handel and Vivaldi. The featured soloist was the brilliant young soprano Amanda Forsythe. I heard the Friday night concert at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights, with its newly renovated acoustics which livened up the sound considerably. The music was mostly Handel and Vivaldi, but Jean-Philippe Rameau made a couple of cameo appearances as well.

One of the hallmarks of Apollo’s Fire’s performances is the naturalness and freedom of their music-making. Although very carefully planned and rehearsed, the musicians always project a sense of spontaneity and improvisation. Also, Jeannette Sorrell is not afraid to make things her own, as exemplified in the program by two of her transcriptions of Vivaldi works that opened and closed the concert. The Allegro from the Concerto in D, RV511, originally for two violins, was arranged as a concerto grosso. It was stylishly done, and had the program not stated it that it was an arrangement, few would have been the wiser. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

FORSYTHE-Amanda-greenJust a year ago, Boston-based soprano Amanda Forsythe dazzled Apollo’s Fire audiences with memorable performances in “Mozart and Papa Haydn”. Writing for this publication about arias she sang from the young Mozart’s Lucio Silla in Finney Chapel at Oberlin, Nicholas Jones said, “Ms. Forsythe gave us a rendition of pyrotechnics…that convinced us of its value, even as we recognized the immaturity of the composer. Staccato arpeggios, long legato lines, a mad scene with its requisite oddities — all were entirely enthralling.”

Not long after that, Forsythe knocked the sox off Boston audiences with her triumphant appearances as Edilia in the 17-year old Handel’s first-ever opera, Almira, at the Boston Early Music Festival in June. The Wall Street Journal critic wrote, “Rage arias steadily gathered steam and exploded: In “Proverai,” she unleashed her fury at the fickle Osman in a torrent of roulades; she reeled him in with her voice and her body, pretending to kiss him, then commandeered his sword and threatened him with it and an even higher and wilder cascade of ornaments.”

We interviewed Amanda Forsythe last year before her Cleveland area performances but wanted to catch up with her again before she returns to sing and record arias by Handel and Rameau with Apollo’s Fire from April 24-27. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway


Much of the classical music world still operates on the time-honored apprentice system, which emphasizes hands-on training over degrees and diplomas. Apollo’s Fire showcased four of its young artists in two concerts last weekend. I caught the performance on Saturday evening, March 15 in Tucker Hall at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights. Billed as “Music Collision: Art Meets Folk, 1614,” the hour-and-a-half performance featured soprano Madeline Apple Healey, violinists Augusta McKay Lodge and Cynthia Black, and viola da gambist David Ellis in various solo and ensemble combinations supported by AF artistic director Jeannette Sorrell at the harpsichord and Daniel Shoskes on lute and theorbo.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Daniel Hathaway

AF SJApollo’s Fire has made a name for itself in over twenty years’ worth of vivid and passionate interpretations of early music on period instruments. Now, founder and artistic director Jeannette Sorrell has taken her ensemble in a new direction with a program of Jewish music from Spain and Italy entitled “Sephardic Journey: Wanderings of the Spanish Jews,” which is making the rounds of venues in Akron, Cleveland Heights, Beachwood and Rocky River from February 20-25. I heard the performance on February 21 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights.

The creative team that put “Sephardic Journey” together included Sorrell, co-director and soprano Nell Snaidas, bass Jeffrey Strauss and cellist René Schiffer, who brought their collective arranging skills and individual experiences to the task. Schiffer, who transcribed some pieces from recordings, also contributed his own, newly-composed setting of Adon Olam, commissioned by Daniel Shoskes. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

SORRELL-Jeannette“It seemed like this was the next challenge,” said Apollo’s Fire artistic director Jeannette Sorrell. “Our Celtic program in particular made me ready to tackle something new.”

That something new will reveal itself this week as Apollo’s Fire presents five performances of “Sephardic Journey: Wanderings of the Spanish Jews” beginning on Thursday, February 20 at Fairlawn Lutheran Church, with subsequent concerts at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights (February 21), The Temple – Tifereth Israel in Beachwood (February 22 & 25) and Rocky River Presbyterian Church (February 23).

“I’ve always loved this music,” Sorrell told us by telephone from Houston, where she was conducting two complete cycles of Brandenburg Concertos — the kind of repertoire in which she’s made her reputation. “I’ve been working closely with Nell Snaidas and Jeffrey Strauss, who have sung Sephardic music all their lives — Jeff grew up in the cantorial tradition and Nell’s father was part of a Sephardic community in South America. It’s rewarding and brings us back to our roots.” Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

McFarlane-HallDuring the first of her amusing asides to an audience who had just slogged through snowdrifts on Sunday afternoon, soprano Meredith Hall noted that the subtitle of this year’s Apollo’s Fire’s Fireside Concerts was “Drive the Cold Winter Away.” “We have failed!” she added, ruefully.

Well, maybe the Polar Vortex and its aftermath had chilled patrons to the bone on the way to Rocky River Presbyterian Church, but the English music from the 16th and 17th centuries that awaited them inside warmed the cockles of the soul, even with no fireplace in sight.

Hall was joined by lutenists Ronn McFarlane and William Sims (who doubled on theorbo) and flutist Kathie Stewart (who also played recorder) in an engaging, two-hour journey through the ballad repertory which supplied house music for the well-to-do and lyrics for Everyman to sing to familiar tunes during the flowering of poetry and music in Renaissance England. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway and Mike Telin

McFarlane-Hall“Now winter nights enlarge / The number of their hours; / And clouds their storms discharge / Upon the airy towers. / Let now the chimneys blaze / And cups o’erflow with wine, / Let well-tuned words amaze / With harmony divine.”

Soprano Meredith Hall will begin this week’s Apollo’s Fire Fireside Concerts, “Drive the Cold Winter Away,” with those sentiments by sixteenth-century poet, composer and lutenist Thomas Campion from his song of the same name. “Given the way the winter has been — power outages and such — this theme is a fairly easy one to latch onto,” Hall said in a phone conversation. “What we’re doing is banding together and having an evening celebrating something warm!”

“Campion’s song inspired the program,” said Grammy-nominated lutenist and guest music director Ronn McFarlane, also in a phone conversation. “It’s an Elizabethan and post-Elizabethan show focusing on the English ballad repertoire featuring works by Dowland, Purcell and my favorite composer, Anonymous. Billy [William] Sims will join us on lute and theorbo and Kathie Stewart will play flute and recorder.”

Ballads were the popular music of the Elizabethan period, often circulated as “broadsides” or printed sheets of lyrics that could be fitted to tunes — or families of tunes — that everybody knew and which may have originated as improvisations over bass patterns like the Romanesca. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

Michael Praetorius

Michael Praetorius

Well before the more pietistic style of Lutheran church music that Johann Sebastian Bach wrote at Leipzig in the second quarter of the eighteenth century came the Italian-influenced, Renaissance style of Michael Praetorius, the subject of Jeannette Sorrell’s well-crafted and expertly performed Christmas Vespers with Apollo’s Fire, which began a four-concert run at Trinity Cathedral on Friday evening before moving on to three different venues around town.

You could hear the difference in approach in Philip Nicolai’s Wachet auf! Everyone knows the glorious, equal-note setting that ends Bach’s cantata of the same name. Not so familiar is the early form of the chorale tune with its dancelike, uneven rhythms, nor its delightful and ornate elaboration by Praetorius from his 1619 collection Polyhymnia caduceatrix. The latter, already bursting at its seams with exuberance, was decorated even further by Apollo’s Fire’s violinists and cornetto players (Olivier Brault, Johanna Novom, Kiri Tollaksen and Nathaniel Cox), who could barely force themselves to arrive at the final chord at several cadences. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

AF-Praetorius-VespersIn her program notes for this week’s concerts Apollo’s Fire artistic director Jeannette Sorrell writes, “Martin Luther had many students and disciples. One of them was named Praetorius, and that student had a son named Michael. Michael became – along with J.S. Bach – one of the two greatest composers in the history of Protestant church music.” Beginning on Friday, December 13 with performances continuing through the 16th at locations in Cleveland and Akron, Apollo’s Fire presents Praetorius Christmas Vespers: A Dramatic Holiday Celebration.

Compiled by Jeannette Sorrell and premiered in December 2005, the Christmas Vespers features the splendor of trumpets, sackbuts, virtuoso cornettos, antiphonal choirs, lutes, strings and recorders. The concerts also feature the Apollo’s Singers and the Apollo’s Fire Musettes, youth who have been chosen by Sorrell to perform Praetorius’s music intended for children’s voices. Returning to Cleveland and the Apollo’s Fire stage are three renowned soloists, sopranos Nell Snaidas, Teresa Wakim, and Amanda Powell.

I’m in love with the German music of this time period, and there’s something about this Christmas Vespers that Praetorius wrote and Jeannette put together. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

AF-Sacrum-MysteriumSince it premiered in December of 2011, Apollo’s Fire’s Sacrum Mysterium – A Celtic Christmas, has become a holiday favorite of area audiences. From Tuesday, December 3 through December 8 at locations through Northeast Ohio, Jeannette Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire will present five performances of their acclaimed production that celebrates Celtic artistic traditions, interweaving Renaissance choral music with ancient pagan carols, folk dances and joyous fiddle tunes.

A colorful band of bagpipes, flutes, strings, and Celtic harp will join Apollo’s Singers. The performances also mark the return of three of Apollo’s Fire’s favorite guest artists — Canadian soprano Meredith Hall, British baroque guitarist and step dancer Steve Player and hammered dulcimer virtuoso Tina Bergmann. reviewer William Fazekas called Sacrum Mysterium “…a careful balance of the familiar and the exotic [that includes] traditional Christmas songs [such as] The Coventry Carol, [and] early music standards” such as the 17th century Scottish carol Come, My Children Dere, and the instrumental numbers Scotch Cap and Wild Geese.” Read the rest of this entry »

by Timothy Robson

Schiffer-&-BrinkmannOne of the best things about Apollo’s Fire’s programs is that director Jeannette Sorrell and her musicians plan programs that are entertaining. They are scholarly, but not pedantic; instructive, but not condescending; and the expert musicians give every appearance of enjoying the act of performance, with awareness of their fellow musicians.

Such was the case again on Friday night, November 15, at Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights, for the first of four performances of “Tangos and Fandangos,” an exploration of the Mediterranean musical styles from 18th century Spain that crossed the Atlantic and evolved into those sexy South American dances, the fandango and the tango. The full house responded enthusiastically to this unfamiliar music by Santiago de Murcia, Luigi Boccherini, Carl Friedrich Abel, and Apollo’s Fire regular René Schiffer (writing under the nom de plume René Duchiffre).

Baroque guitarists Simon Martyn-Ellis and William Simms opened the concert with 18th century Spanish composer and guitarist Santiago de Murcia’s Fandango (c.1730). The performers entered from opposite sides of the stage, bowed to each other and commenced a musical “duel,” trading phrases in increasing virtuosic variations above the descending bass line that is the hallmark of the fandango. The tension increased until the music dramatically stopped without warning. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

Schiffer-&-Brinkmann“A lot of people play the gamba very softly and delicately,” said Apollo’s Fire gambist and cellist René Schiffer, “and I always thought that was wrong. You need to get what you can out of the instrument, and the gamba can be loud, especially when you play chords.”

Apollo’s Fire audiences will experience that brasher voice of the viola da gamba this week, as Cleveland’s baroque orchestra presents five performances of “Tangos and Fandangos with Boccherini and Friends” in area churches. The program includes René Schiffer’s “notorious” Tango Concerto for two gambas featuring Schiffer and his colleague Mime Y. Brinkmann. Elsewhere on the program the two soloists will swap out gambas for cellos to duel away in Schiffer’s Fandango.

“I chose the tango because I thought it was the perfect way to end a baroque concerto,” Schiffer said in a telephone conversation. “It has the strict rhythm of the baroque and an ostinato which relates it to the chaconne or any long piece with the same bass line played over and over again. Of course it is a total joke that two gambas are playing a tango — but at the same time, I think that when they are playing together they often sound like a bandoneón. And the noise that they can make — you never get to do that in a baroque piece.” Read the rest of this entry »

by Nicholas Jones

AF-Virtuoso-OrchestraAs Apollo’s Fire heads out on a real tour across North American, last weekend’s set of concerts gave us a virtual tour of some of the top orchestras across Europe—all without leaving our seats. Talk about not leaving a carbon footprint!

As simply and quickly as on Google Earth, listeners swooped from one musical capital to another — from Hamburg on the North Sea, south to Venice on the Adriatic, and across what we now used to call East Germany, from Cöthen and Leipzig to Dresden.

Each of the sojourns featured one of the composers who lived and worked in that town – Telemann in Hamburg, Vivaldi in Venice, and Bach in Leipzig and Cöthen. Dresden—one of the grandest of the orchestras and the pride of the Elector of Saxony—was represented by the little known Johann David Heinichen.

The theme, “virtuoso orchestra,” led music director Jeannette Sorrell to feature concertos in which Apollo’s Fire’s soloists could step forward and dazzle us as their counterparts 300 years ago must have done. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

SORRELL-JeannetteAfter I congratulated her on launching her ensemble’s twenty-second season, Apollo’s Fire founder and artistic director Jeannette Sorrell said, “We’re into adulthood now, and we’re in a really fantastic place regarding our artistic reputation.” Cleveland patrons don’t need to be reminded of the high quality of playing their resident baroque orchestra turns in on a regular basis, but a wider audience is now sitting up and paying attention.

One indication of Apollo’s Fire’s “grown-up” status: the ensemble has recently been picked up by Columbia Artists Management Inc. (CAMI), “a big stamp of approval”, Sorrell said. “We’re the first period instrument orchestra to appear on their roster, and after twenty-one years of honing our craft and trying to perfect our art, it’s great to be getting global attention.”

We reached Jeannette Sorrell via Skype last weekend to chat about the multiple performances of seven programs that local audiences will enjoy in area church venues this season. It all begins with “Virtuoso Orchestra”, which opens on Thursday, October 10 at First Methodist in Akron and will be repeated on October 11 and 12 at Fairmount Presbyterian in Cleveland Heights and on October 13 at Rocky River Presbyterian.

Sorrell promises that the program will live up to its name with dazzling performances including Vivaldi’s concerto for four violins, Bach’s fourth Brandenburg Concerto and a novelty for local audiences, a concerto by J.D. Heinichen. Read the rest of this entry »

by Alexandra A. Vago

FOLEY-TomáseenFrom glen to glen, the bagpipes shepherded guests to the Baroque Barn in Hunting Valley on Thursday, June 6, for the first of several performances of Apollo’s Fire’s charmingly rustic program, “My Father was a Matchmaker: Tunes & Tales of Love from Old Ireland” with Irish storyteller Tomáseen Foley. The weather, as if on cue from Mother Nature, was misty, cloudy, and a wee bit chilly – but the perfect setting for tunes and tales of love from Old Ireland.

While one might have longed for a pint of Guinness and a warm hearth, William Coulter (guitar/guest musical director) masterfully led the musicians and audience to a remote parish in Ireland, where we met a true Irish culture-bearer, Tomáseen Foley. The evening was an intimate glimpse into the Céilí, an informal social gathering that includes song, dance, poetry and storytelling.

Mr. Foley regaled us with tales of Tade, one of his father’s matchmaking subjects, and a sentimental love story of W. B. Yeats and Maud Gonner. The program was woven together as skillfully as the most intricate, interlaced Celtic knot. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

FOLEY-TomáseenJune is finally here, which means it’s time for many musical groups to move into Summer Mode. For Apollo’s Fire, that means the 2013 edition of the group’s popular Countryside Concerts is just around the corner. Beginning on Thursday, June 6 and running through Tuesday, June 11, with a special children’s concert on Tuesday June 11, (check our Concert Listings page for locations and times), the acclaimed Irish storyteller Tomáseen Foley returns to Northeast Ohio with a new show titled My Father Was a Matchmaker: Tunes & Tales of Love from Old Ireland.

Foley will be joined by his longtime collaborator and Grammy Award-winning artist William Coulter, guest music director & guitarist, vocalist Ross Hauck, Irish piper & dancer Brian Bigley, hammered dulcimer player Tina Bergmann & Canadian fiddler Edwin Huizinga.

Foley says the idea for My Father Was a Matchmaker came after last season’s highly successful Celtic Crossings: Songs & Stories of the Irish-American Journey. “Jeannette Sorrell and I were discussing some ideas for the future and I told her about my father. She thought it was a great idea and so it developed from there.” Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

LYNN-MichaelI call this Life 2.0 or ‘Michael is back!’” exclaimed Oberlin Conservatory Baroque Flute and Recorder Professor Michael Lynn during his miraculous recovery from debilitating liver disease following an organ transplant at the Cleveland Clinic earlier this year.

Lynn, who has taught at Oberlin for 36 years and served as its associate dean for technology and facilities and curator of musical instruments, received a diagnosis of liver disease eight years ago and was placed on a transplant waiting list. Because his “numbers” were so good at that point, his wait would turn out to be a long one. But after he developed encephalopathy and diabetes and had to take a medical leave from Oberlin, the situation soon became critical.

Last October 2nd he got “the call” and suddenly found himself the recipient of a donor liver. Things quickly went straight uphill for him. “The good stuff happened very quickly after the transplant”, he told us on his cell phone from his back yard in Oberlin. “The liver disease had the ‘side effect’ of sending toxins — mainly ammonia — to my brain and that caused all sorts of problems including not being able to perform for almost four years. What was amazing is that I could already tell in the hospital that I was going to be able to play again because my brain knew how and my coordination was coming back. When I got back home I was pretty beat up, but I immediately started noodling around on the recorder and that showed me I could play just fine. Since then I’ve played four concerts and it was totally easy.” Read the rest of this entry »

by Nicholas Jones

AFJSConductingIn its concerts this weekend, Apollo’s Fire burnt bright with the intensity of the mature Haydn and the brilliance of the young Mozart (not that he was ever old, alas!)

This winter has seen Cleveland’s baroque orchestra presenting “intimate” concerts of Vivaldi and Bach with reduced forces, perhaps for budget reasons. By contrast, this concert assembled a big band—almost thirty instrumentalists—fitting for late 18th-century operatic and symphonic literature. The investment in such a richness of talent paid off in an extraordinary mixture of precision, energy, and richness.

Full string sections were backed by pairs of natural horns and paired woodwinds—baroque bassoons, oboes, and flutes. In Oberlin’s Finney Chapel—acoustically clear and relatively dry—the group could play at faster tempos than in the resonant churches in which Apollo’s Fire normally performs, and with a tighter sense of ensemble.

This was Apollo’s Fire at its best: crisp, exciting, and beautifully transparent. Bass lines energized the music from below; in the middle, inner voices shone through with ease; oboes, flutes, and violins dazzled with rapid and always-varying intricacies. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

FORSYTHE-AmandaSoprano Amanda Forsythe returns to Northeast Ohio and Apollo’s Fire this weekend to sing Haydn and Mozart arias in concerts in Akron, Cleveland Heights and Oberlin, following appearances in Handel’s Messiah (including a recording) and an earlier concert set of excerpts from Mozart operas.

The New York native started out at Vassar College as a marine biology major, then switched to music and went on to pursue a graduate degree in vocal performance at the New England Conservatory. Turned down for NEC’s opera workshop, Forsythe went in search of other singing opportunities and found herself cast in a performance of a Cavalli opera at Harvard, where she met her husband-to-be, conductor and University Organist Edward Elwyn Jones, as well as Boston Baroque director Martin Pearlman.

That launched her extensive career in early music, but before long, she branched out into standard opera roles, making her European debut in Il viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, Italy and recently appearing in Robert Carsens’s new production of Falstaff at Covent Garden. “It’s fun to do the standard roles,” Forsythe told us phone from Boston. “With early music, you might learn a role and never see the piece again!” Read the rest of this entry »

by Guytano Parks

AF-Intimate-BachApollo’s Fire presented the first of four performances of “The Intimate Bach, Part II” as part of a series entitled The “Fireside” Concerts at Fairlawn Lutheran Church on Thursday, March 14. Three of the ensemble’s principal players, violinist Olivier Brault, flutist Kathie Stewart, cellist René Schiffer and the ensemble’s director, harpsichordist Jeannette Sorrell, performed music by Bach and Telemann.

The principal players of Apollo’s Fire were of one mind and spirit and their rapport was apparent as they opened the program with Telemann’s Paris Quartet No. 12 in e minor. Phrases were delivered sensitively with nuance and expressive ornamentation. The interplay between the performers in sequential sections and the echoing of phrases in others sounded personal, much like a conversation. Improvisatory writing in the Prelude plus sections of lyricism within the other movements nicely offset the lively nature of this work. Read the rest of this entry »

 by Daniel Hathaway

When Apollo’s FireApollo'sFireOutside resumes its “Intimate Bach” series with Part II — four concerts in Akron, Cleveland Heights and Rocky River from March 14-17 — one of the featured artists will be baroque flutist Kathie Stewart, who will solo in J.S. Bach’s Flute Sonata in e minor and join violinist Olivier Brault, cellist René Schiffer and harpsichordist Jeannette Sorrell in two of Georg Philipp Telemann’s Paris Quartets.

We reached Kathie Stewart in Houston where she was changing planes on the way back to Cleveland from Apollo’s Fire’s tour of “Come to the River”, with performances in Pennsylvania, Florida and California. “I’ve been playing on 19th century copies of Irish-style flutes and now I’m putting those away to play Bach and Telemann.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Daniel Hathaway
founder & editor
Mike Telin
executive editor
Jarrett Hoffman
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James Flood
J.D. Goddard
Jarrett Hoffman
Nicholas Jones
Timothy Robson
Robert & Gwyneth Rollin
Alexandra Vago
Tom Wachunas