Welcome to the website of the Apollo Baroque Consort.
The Apollo Baroque Consort was founded in 2011 by Joe Waggott and Chris Fitzgerald-Lombard to explore the wealth of early vocal and choral music of the 17th and 18th centuries, much of which remains largely unknown today. The group bring together their experience as early music specialists to record and perform some of these great works. One of the founding principles of the Consort is to nurture and expose some of the vast, young talent in the early music world and to give younger performers an opportunity to perform this music to a professional standard. It includes both players and singers, most of whom have studied, or are studying, at the finest music establishments in the UK and abroad.
Although the Consort is still a relatively newly-established ensemble they have already been involved in several exciting projects, working with some of the best young (and not so young!) musicians in the field of period performance. In 2012 they released their debut CD to great critical acclaim (see below), were first-prize winners in the Corton-Hyde Early Music Prize in Birmingham and were featured in a paper on Charpentier given by renowned baroque scholar, Shirley Thompson at the Southampton Baroque Conference.
The CD was recorded over 3 days in February 2012 in the fabulous acoustic of St Alban the Martyr in Highgate, Birmingham.
years. Rare, lyrical, involving music sung musically and intelligently
by Chris Fitzgerald-Lombard and supported sensitively and
unobtrusively by Joe Waggott makes this CD a must for any music lover.
The supporting cast of singers and instrumentalists add to the colourand variety of the sound world and the generous acoustic of the
wonderful Pearson church of St Alban, Highgate, Birmingham provides a
suitable halo to the recorded sound which is excellent – clear, warm
and present.Waggott and Fitzgerald-Lombard state that one of the aims of The Apollo
Baroque Consort (the ensemble’s name) is ‘to nurture and expose some of the
vast young talent in the early music world and to give young
performers opportunities to perform this music to a professional
standard’. This is a laudable aim and both these young musicians from
Birmingham Conservatoire demonstrate their professionalism at every
turn. But, as much as anything else, the overriding and lasting
impression is the love of the music and the sheer physicality of the
music making which connects at every turn. Now on my third straight through listen I expect this disc to join me
on my desert island to which I would retire with pleasure in this
This little disc is a worthy debut for the recently formed ensemble known as the
Apollo Baroque Consort, bringing together three longer works that are all mostly solo
settings of important texts associated with Holy Week: the penitential psalm Miserere mei deus
by Michel-Richard de Lalande (1657-1726); the sequence Stabat mater dolorous,
in the Pianto della Madonna by Giovanni-Felice Sances (1600-1679), last heard on a recording
by Philippe Jaroussky; and a section of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, proper
to Good Friday, by Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745).The composers’ life spans cover most of the Baroque period and three different
geographic and stylistic areas: the elegant and expressive French style, the more florid Italian,
and the more polyphonic and complex German. The solo motet will work only with a beautiful
voice that holds the ear, which this disc has in tenor Christopher Fitzgerald-Lombard,
who founded Apollo Baroque Consort with Joe Waggott last year; Waggott ably provides
most of the accompaniment on continuo organ (plus cello and theorbo), in keeping with the
relatively simple style of the solo motet, sometimes in alternation with a small chorus.
Only the Zelenka, the most complicated score by far, requires a larger, but still relatively small,
consort of instruments. The combination of unusual repertoire and generally beautiful sound,
recorded this past February at St. Alban the Martyr in Highgate, Birmingham, make for an accomplished debut.’
(Full review here)