When Apollo's Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, performs Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 2 to 6, the results are "brilliant and swaggering," wrote a reviewer for The Times of London. From fiery strings to colorful recorders to a dizzying harpsichord solo, the ensemble displays its virtuosity in concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Penn State's Schwab Auditorium.
A limited number of tickets are still available for the Nov. 7 concert. Phone 814-863-0255 for ticket information.
The chamber orchestra's performance is the highlight of a two-day residency at the Center for the Performing Arts. The public is invited to observe when Apollo's Fire musicians participate in several master classes, a chamber ensemble coaching session and a classroom visit during their Nov. 6 and 7 residency at University Park.
Apollo's Fire, which captivates audiences with its dramatic period-instrument performances, brings its special brand of exuberance to Bach's Baroque masterpieces. Trumpeter Josh Cohen scales the heights in the famous second concerto. Jeannette Sorrell, harpsichordist and music director, "delivers a brilliant, take-no-captives rendition of the big solo in No. 5," wrote an American Record Guide reviewer. "In all, these performances are lively and unfailingly attractive."
The ensemble, which last appeared at Penn State in a 2010 performance of Claudio Monteverdi's Vespers for the Blessed Virgin, 1610, has performed at London's Wigmore Hall, Madrid's Royal Theatre, the Boston Early Music Festival and other major venues throughout North America and Europe.
Read Sorrell's Classical Music Project blog post about what makes the Brandenburg Concertos so special. The post features links to videos of Apollo's Fire performing selected portions of the concertos.
Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring Sorrell and Marica Tacconi, professor of musicology at Penn State, is offered in Schwab one hour before the concert and is free for ticket holders.