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Jeannette Sorrell
Jeannette Sorrell (WKSU)

Jeannette Sorrell’s background as a dancer has served her well in her role as founder and director of Cleveland’s historically informed performance band, Apollo’s Fire. Her deep understanding of the partnership between music and movement has unquestionably shaped her interpretation of the rhythms in early music.

Steven Player
Steven Player


Audio clip: Steven Player in Mediterranean Nights (2005)

At times, she’s also added literal dance to the group’s programs. This coming season (2009-10), two of Apollo’s Fire’s concerts will feature movement.

In late October and early November, guitarist, dancer, and high-energy showman Steven Player will join Apollo’s Fire as they present a revised version of their popular 2005 program Mediterranean Nights. Cool Cleveland’s Kelly Ferjutz said that the earlier Mediterranean Nights at St Paul’s Episcopal Church was "a treat that will not soon be forgotten." Of a Harp Consort program featuring Player, the Adelaide Review said, "Steven Player was worth the price of admission by himself."

In March, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra will bring dance to Severance Hall as they perform Mozart’s ballet music for Idomeneo, as part of an all-Mozart program. Apollo’s Fire last played this Mozart work three years ago, in October of 2006, and Sorrell also conducted a well-received Akron Symphony Orchestra performance of it in 2007. In 2009, for the first time with Apollo’s Fire, the performance will have the element of movement which Mozart intended. In addition to Severance Hall, the Mozart Celebration will be presented in Akron, and at Oberlin’s Finney Chapel.

For the 2009-10 season, the ensemble expands their repertoire with a new concert featuring excerpts from Bach’s B-minor mass and Vivaldi’s Gloria. Gloria will open the Apollo’s Fire season in October (on the 1st through the 4th of the month) in Cleveland Heights, Akron, and Rocky River.

Christmas Vespers
Apollo’s Musettes


Audio clip: Puer Natus from Christmas Vespers (2005)

Two other audience favorites from the past will round out the series of five concerts. In early December, Apollo’s Fire will present a reprise of Christmas Vespers. This program of Advent and Christmas works by early Baroque composer Michael Praetorius sold out and generated highly positive reviews in 2005 and 2007. In February, the group will perform an updated program of concertos by J S Bach and his sons.

Although their regular season is one concert shorter for 2009-10 (5 concerts rather than 6), Apollo’s Fire will present a separately-ticketed bonus event to help make up the difference. In January the young French countertenor, Philippe Jaroussky, will perform a French art song recital with piano accompaniment at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Jaroussky will appear with Apollo’s Fire during the 2010-2011 season.

Further reading:

2009-2010 Season at Apollo’s Fire

Philippe Jaroussky at Bach Cantatas

Further listening:

Amazon, Arkiv Music, and HB Direct offer Apollo’s Fire’s Christmas Vespers on CD

Note: The vendor links above are provided solely for your information. WKSU doesn’t endorse these suppliers, nor does it receive any financial benefit from your use of the links.

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