by Daniel Hathaway
With each of its themed programs, Apollo’s Fire is becoming more than just a period instrument ensemble that gives concerts. Its March program, “Tapestry — Jewish Ghettos of Baroque Italy,” which replaces performances of Handel’s Israel in Egypt, finds Jeannette Sorrell and her colleagues moving seamlessly out of their usual roles to morph into singing actors and dancers, all in order to bring the subject at hand to vibrant life.
The latest program, which visits the ghetto and palace at Mantua and the ghetto and church at Venice, uses expressive instrumental music by Salamone Rossi, Giuseppe Sammartini, Antonio Vivaldi, and Alessandro Marcello, two of Benedetto Marcello’s 50 psalm settings, and Hebrew prayers and songs associated with Passover and Purim to evoke the rich cultural life of those towns. [Read more…]