Quire Trixies on All Things Considered

All Things Considered, the daily afternoon news program on National Public Radio, has a well-known musical theme; when played after the news, it’s called a “trixie:” ((ATC has an interesting history of their theme here))

[audio:http://www.quirecleveland.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/atc-original.mp3|titles=ATC theme, jazz band]

Staff at ATC recently invited Quire Cleveland’s president, Ross Duffin, to compose some trixies in an early-music style. ((Duffin’s musical parody, “Come All Ye Baseball Fans” — written to the tune of “Come ye Sons of Art” by Henry Purcell — was featured on ATC during the Cleveland Indians’ pennant-winning season of 1995.)) Duffin composed six of them, ranging in style from 13th-century organum to Carl Orff’s well-known 1936 composition “Carmina Burana.” And he recruited the members of Quire Cleveland, as well as faculty of Case Western Reserve University’s Early Music Program, to record them. Here’s what he came up with.


Based on 4-voice organum and conductus pieces in 13th-century Notre Dame style. The ATC melody is in the bass.


[audio:http://www.quirecleveland.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/01-organum.mp3|titles=Organum - Quire Men’s Schola]

Quire Cleveland Men’s Schola, directed by Peter Bennett.


Peter Bennett conducts the men of Quire Cleveland (Left to right: Peter Bennett, David Simmons-Duffin, Jeremiah Heilman, Ross Duffin, David Saffron, Nathan Longnecker, John McElliott, Ian Crane; not pictured: José Gotera, Raymond Lyons)


Based on the texture of the late-Renaissance madrigal/motet repertoire. In this case, the ATC melody is placed in the top voice. The second time through presents the text, “All Things Considered from National Public Radio.”

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Quire Cleveland, directed by Peter Bennett


Based on chorales by J. S. Bach, particularly the one from his Cantata 140, Wachet auf. The melody is in the top voice.

[audio:http://www.quirecleveland.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/04-bach.mp3|titles=Bach - Peter Bennett]

Peter Bennett, organ


Based on a Vivaldi trio sonata texture. The melody is traded between the two violins first time through, then carried in the cello for the second time, with the last part highly ornamented. The last part is then repeated as a tag with an iconic Vivaldi ending in the violins.

[audio:http://www.quirecleveland.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/05-vivaldi.mp3|titles=Vivaldi - CWRU Faculty]

Case Early Music faculty (and one student): Julie Andrijeski (baroque violin), Jimin Shin (baroque violin), René Schiffer (baroque cello), Peter Bennett (harpsichord)


Based on paraphrase hymn settings of the 15th century by composers like Guillaume Dufay, using a slighly ornamented version of the ATC melody in the top voice, and a simpler one in the vielle a fourth lower.

[audio:http://www.quirecleveland.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/02-fauxbourdon.mp3|titles=Fauxbourdon - CWRU Faculty]

Case Music faculty: Julie Andrijeski (vielle), Debra Nagy (gothic harp), Ross W. Duffin (recorder)


Julie Andrijeski on vielle, Debra Nagy on medieval harp, and Ross Duffin on recorder, perform ATC’s trixie in the style of a 15th-century chanson.


A parody of the oft-heard opening of Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, except that in this verison, the ATC theme is carried by altos and basses, with the voices presenting the text, “All Things Considered from National Public Radio.”

[audio:http://www.quirecleveland.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/06-carmina.mp3|titles=Carmina - Quire Cleveland]

Quire Cleveland, directed by Peter Bennett