A Night at Bach’s Coffeehouse


APOLLO’S FIRE | The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra
Jeannette Sorrell, director/harpsichord
Alina Ibragimova, violin

Apollo’s Fire under the direction of Jeannette Sorrell have played to packed houses at London’s Wigmore Hall, Madrid’s Royal Theatre, Bordeaux’s Grand Opera House, and concert halls throughout North America. Their commitment to personal, emotional communication finds the perfect match in violinist Alina Ibragimova, who has won the hearts of European audiences thanks to her “intensity and commitment that makes her an utterly compelling musician” (The Guardian).

Together, Ibragimova and Apollo’s Fire evoke the atmosphere of the famous coffeehouse in 18th-c. Leipzig, where Bach and his student orchestra played lively concertos. The program includes two of Bach’s beloved Brandenburgs, as well as the E major violin concerto and works by Bach’s admired colleague, Vivaldi. Sparks fly as Apollo’s Fire performs Sorrell’s arrangement of Vivaldi’s “La Folia” (Madness) from memory.


This transatlantic project tours to Europe and the BBC Proms, following the North American performances.


“Apollo’s Fire has forged a vibrant, life-affirming approach to the re-making of early music… European ears have begun to appreciate the blend of intellect and artistry concocted by harpsichordist Sorrell and her colleagues. Their seductive vision of musical authenticity is guided by a shared commitment to honest emotional expression, rooted in period style yet never its slave.”
BBC Music Magazine

“Visually charged, minutely stage-managed musical theatrics from Jeannette Sorrell and her irrepressible team of musicians… Utterly sensational, every phrase a Baroque curlicue dipped in gold and then embellished still further. Charismatic and boundlessly energetic… this is Baroque music in its unbuttoned state.”
TheArtsDesk.com, London

“Under the inspired direction of Jeannette Sorrell, Apollo’s Fire has become one of the pre-eminent period-instrument ensembles, causing one to hear familiar baroque material anew.”
The Independent, London

“Apollo’s Fire is one of the brightest lights of period-instrument playing in the United States… arguably the most distinctive in sound and memorable in style. Its trademark qualities: expressive subtlety, exuberance and passion.”
Classical Music Magazine, London

“This swaggering version… makes the most of the variety of instrumental colour Bach so exhilaratingly put on show. Two harpsichord concertos BWV 1052 and 1056 [are] both brilliantly played, as is the keyboard part in the Fifth Brandenburg, by Sorrell.”

The Sunday Times, London (reviews of Bach Concertos CD)

“These excellent young musicians take a highly gestural approach to phrasing and bring across their music with an exuberant musicality, like wind through a forest. Easily one of the most enjoyable concerts of the season.”
The Boston Globe


Reviews of Alina Ibragimova’s ground-breaking recording of Bach’s Solo Violin Sonatas & Partitas on Hyperion

“…a true enshrining of the violin’s soul.”
The Sunday Times, London

“Ibragimova reveals herself to be an exquisite interpreter of Bach.”
Gramophone Magazine (Editor’s Choice)

“Revelatory. Ibragimova makes familiar works sound both spontaneously conceived and inevitable.”
The New York Times

The Guardian interviews Alina