Review: Apollo's Fire 'jams' into 'Mediterranean Nights
Saturday night's concert by Apollo Fire was inspired in all the ways one expects of this brilliantly led ensemble. But the smart choice of repertoire and the artistry to perform it memorably were supplemented by an over-arching sensibility absent from most "thematic" concerts.
The program was called "Mediterranean Nights" and had the festive spontaneity of an impromptu jam session.
The quietly haunting sounds of the old Spanish melody "The Song of the Birds" emerged from the back of Synod Hall in Oakland to open the concert with the beautiful playing of violinist Veronika Skuplik-Hein. When she reached the stage, other musicians joined her in a lovely arrangement by music director Jeannette Sorrell.
Soprano Nell Snaidas brought flair and sharply differentiated feeling to her singing, which included a lament and a fiercely dismissive song. She was duly subdued in a drolly humorous song about a woman confessing to breaking all Ten Commandments out of romantic passion -- well, nine really, but she also confesses to feeling no repentance.
The musicians set up a deliciously inflected 6/8 rhythm for dancer Steve Player's first solo, which was mainly Spanish in its focus on footwork, but added a little Italian flair in a twirling leap.
Sorrell combined two fandangos for the exuberant finale, in which Player and Snaidas danced with increasing affection. It's been eight years since Apollo's Fire last appeared at a Renaissance and Baroque Society's concert. Let's hope they're back much sooner than that.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.