O, Jerusalem! Crossroads of Three Faiths with Apollo’s Fire

December 21, 2022, 10:00 pm

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Tower of David and Jerusalem walls at night (Photo: Adiel lo, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

13th-century Persian poet Jalal al-Din Rumi described Jerusalem as “the place where everything is music … and brothers and strangers are one.” Apollo’s Fire, under the direction of Jeannette Sorrell, presents an exploration of the four quarters of Old Jerusalem (Jewish, Christian, Arab, and Armenian/Byzantine,) and the cross-cultural influences of the city’s inhabitants. The rhythms of daily life — love, song, dance, and prayer -– culminate in a joyous celebration of brotherhood and sisterhood.

Read Lisa Flynn’s interview with Jeannette Sorrell here: Three Faiths Connected Through Music: ‘O, Jerusalem!’ With Apollo’s Fire

Tonight’s program was recorded live in concert on March 12, 2020 at Northwestern University’s Galvin Recital Hall. A stream of tonight’s program will be available for 30 days following the broadcast. A blue “Listen” button will appear when the stream is accessible.


Sephardic Medieval/traditional songs; arranged by Jeannette Sorrell
Ir me kero, Madre, a Yerushalayim (I want to go to Jerusalem, mother…)
Kuándo el Rey Nimrod (Avram Avinu)

– Jeffrey Strauss, Sorab Wadia, Amanda Powell, soloists

Medieval sacred Hebrew poem; arranged by Daphna Mor and Jeannette Sorrell
Tzur mishelo akhalnu (The Lord our Rock,) Daphna Mor, vocals
Traditional Sephardic ballad; arranged by Jeannette Sorrell and Amanda Powell
Nani Nani (Lullaby,) Amanda Powell, vocals
Traditional Sephardic ballad; arranged by Jeannette Sorrell
A la una yo nací (At One I was Born,) Sorab Wadia, vocals

Sacred Armenian chant; arranged by René Schiffer
– René Schiffer, cello
Andrea Falconieri (1585-1656)
Passacaglia in G Minor
Salamone Rossi (1570-1630)
La Bergamasca
Cantigas de Santa Maria Codex, c. 1250; arranged by Jeannette Sorrell,
Cantiga #100: Santa Maria, Strela do Dia
– Amanda Powell, Brian Kay & Company

Muslim Call to Prayer
– Rex Benincasa & Zafer Tawil
Medieval plainchant
Sancta Maria succure miseris
Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Vespers of 1610
Nigra sum sed formosa
– Jacob Perry, tenor
Medieval plainchant
Nigra sum sed formosa
Medieval Hebrew prayer; arranged by Jeannette Sorrell
Tzur mishelo akhalnu (The Lord our Rock)
– Jeffrey Strauss and Sorab Wadia
Medieval Sephardic liturgical chant; arranged by J. Strauss/J. Sorrell/R. Schiffer
Ki eshmera Shabbat (If I Guard the Sabbath)
– Jeffrey Strauss, baritone
Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Vespers of 1610
Gloria Patri; Lauda Jerusalem
– Jacob Perry, tenor

– Zafer Tawil
Traditional Arab/Andalusian mwasha; arranged by Jeannette Sorrell
Lamma bada
– Amanda Powell with Zafer Tawil
Traditional Arabic; arranged by Riad al Sunbati
Traditional Arabic/Turkish
Longha Nahawand

Traditional Sephardic/Ladino song; edited by René Schiffer
La Komida la Manyana (The Morning Meal)
– Jeffrey Strauss, Sorab Wadia, Amanda Powell, Adriana Ruiz and Company

APOLLO’S FIRE; Jeannette Sorrell, Artistic Director
WINDS, PLUCKS, & PERCUSSION: Daphna Mor, ney, recorder; Zafer Tawil, oud, qanunl Brian Kay, oud, baglama saz, lute; William Simms, theorbo, baroque guitar; Parker Ramsay, medieval harp; Luke Conklin, oboe, flute, shawm; Rex Benincasa, percussion
STRING BAND: Julie Andrijeski, violin, medieval Vielle; Emi Tanabe, violin; Yael Cohen, violin, viola; René Schiffer, cello; Sue Yelanjian, contrabass
SOPRANO: Amanda Powell, Kristine Caswelch, Melanie Emig, Ashlee Foreman, Fiona Gillespie, Rachel Osherow, Adriana Ruiz
ALTO: Leslie Frye, John McElliott, Jay White, Raquel Winnica
TENOR: Jacob Perry, Sorab Wadia, Gene Stenger, Nathan Dougherty
BASS: Jeffrey Strauss, Daniel Fridley, Frankie Prado, Loren Reash-Henz