O Jerusalem!: City of Three Faiths / Sorrell, Apollo's Fire
The crossroads of Christianity, Judaism and Islam create the backdrop to O! Jerusalem, a scintillating live recording by Apollo’s Fire that interweaves the lives and music of the peoples who have inhabited the “City on a Hill” since Biblical times. Conceived and directed by Jeanette Sorrell, Grammy Award-winning founder of Apollo’s Fire, O! Jerusalem conjures a tour of the Old City’s four quarters – Christian, Jewish, Arab and Armenian – and the confluence of the communities’ sacred and secular music from 1200 – 1650. This colorful and vibrant program – featuring musicians of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian backgrounds – premiered to packed audiences in New York City, Chicago, and the ensemble’s home base of Cleveland where this recording was captured live. O! Jerusalem follows in the footsteps of Sephardic Journey (AV2361), one of ten Apollo’s Fire releases to debut in Billboard’s Classical Chart Top 10.
The program is organized as a walk through the four neighborhoods of Jerusalem's Old Quarter, namely Jewish, Arab, Christian, and Armenian, concluding with a festival secular dance set in which the traditions mingle. Much of the program was recorded live in 2020, just before the pandemic shut things down; these tracks are augmented by others recorded earlier. Most or all of the music seems to have been performed by members of Apollo's Fire itself. Beyond the rather plaintive hopes for peace that it expresses, the program is both instructive and engaging.
-- AllMusicGuide.com (James Manheim)
Release Date: February 11, 2022
Catalog Number: AV2501
Label: Avie Records
Number of Discs: 1
Conductor: Jeannette Sorrell
Orchestra/Ensemble: Apollo's Fire