Apollo’s Fire, Cleveland’s baroque orchestra, made its debut in a sold-out concert at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Festival in western Massachusetts, earning laudatory reviews for the treasured Cleveland ensemble.
The concert was a classical pick of the week in the lofty New Yorker, which wrote:
“July 2 at 8: Apollo’s Fire, which under the direction of Jeannette Sorrell has put Cleveland firmly on the period-performance map, comes to Ozawa Hall to offer “A Night at Bach’s Coffee House,” an evening of convivial music by Bach (the Fourth and Fifth Brandenburg Concertos), Telemann, Handel, and Vivaldi.”
“Only a few minutes into the concert by Apollo’s Fire, the Cleveland-based Baroque Orchestra directed by Jeanette Sorrell, last night in Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, one realized that this was going to be no typical Baroque sewing-machine outing, such as one might hear in traditional Classical music since the middle 50s…Last night Sorrell and her group demonstrated full internalization of the modern scholarly way of performing this music, which makes it sound anything but “scholarly.” Academicism is replaced by expressive musical response. Drive and color provide enlivening variety.”
The Berkshire Review’s Michael Miller, a former curator a the Cleveland Museum of Art, wrote following the performance,
“With the decline of Cleveland from its lofty place as one of the most dynamic industrial cities in the U.S. and the general decline of private philanthropy in the arts, it seemed that the public-spirited genius which created Cleveland’s repertory theater, art museum, and orchestra in the early twentieth century had left for good. For someone who has worked in the arts in that city, it is deeply reassuring that such an ambitious, original and excellent enterprise [as Apollo’s Fire] has been founded and has flourished there within the past quarter-century.”
Another debut is in the offing for the group, which has increased its touring schedule in recent years. It’ll perform at the BBC Proms on London on Sat 8/15 after doing two local send-off concerts on Tue 8/11 and Wed 8/12. Its 2015-2016 touring schedule includes appearance at Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the U.S. Naval Academy, Vassar College, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, SUNY Purchase, Trinity Wall Street and Penn State University.