Apollo’s Fire Gives Cleveland Its First Chance to Hear Bach’s Mass in B Minor on Period Instruments

Fri 4/12 @ 8PM

Sat 4/13 @ 8PM

Sun 4/14 @ 4:30PM

Mon 4/15 @ 7:30PM

It’s not that Clevelanders haven’t had opportunities to hear Bach’s Mass in B minor, completed in 1749 shortly before his death the following year. But they’ve never had the chance before to hear it performed on period instruments.

Now Apollo’s Fire will end its triumphant season (which includes a Grammy win) with a large-scale performance of the work, with trumpets, timpani, woodwinds, strings, choir and vocal soloists, conducted by Apollo’s Fire founder/artistic director Jeannette Sorrell. The “mini-festival features four performances and ancillary events.

“It’s been a whirlwind year and several amazing things have happened for us,” said Sorrell in the event press release. “But I think the experience of performing this masterpiece of Bach will be the perfect way to top the whole thing off. Bach’s B Minor Mass is quite different from the St. Matthew and St. John Passions. It’s more festive and celebratory, with three trumpets, timpani, lots of colorful woodwinds, etc. If you were looking for a piece that’s stunningly triumphant and spectacular, to celebrate a year of notable successes, you could hardly find a more fitting piece than Bach’s B Minor Mass.”

The concerts take place Fri 4/12 at Baldwin Wallace University, co-presented with the Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival; at First Baptist Church in Shaker Heights Sat 4/13; at St. Raphael Catholic Church in Bay Village Sun 4/14 and at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Akron Mon 4/15. Each will be accompanied by a talk led by Harvard professor Thomas Forrest Kelly one hour before performance time.

There’s also a public master class talking place at First Baptist Church Sat 4/13 @ 2:30pm where the public can listen in as Apollo’s Fire Musicians coach students from Baldwin Wallace, Oberlin Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music, followed by coffee and conversation with the artists and students. It’s free. On Sun 4/14 @ 12:30pm, at a “Brunch with Bach” at Nighttown, violinist Olivier Brault and cellist René Schiffer will perform and take part in a Q&A discussion with Sorrell. The $30 cover includes a glass of champagne. A full brunch menu is available.

Tickets for the concerts start at $23.

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