Review: “Carols for Quire IX” at Trinity (Dec. 15)

CD Review
Quire Cleveland — Richard Davy: St. Matthew Passion (QC 107)

Recorded live at performances in April of 2017, Ross W. Duffin’s reconstruction of Richard Davy’s St. Matthew Passion was three decades in the making. The original work, the earliest polyphonic passion setting by a known composer, is uniquely but only partially preserved at the end of the early 16th-century Eton Choirbook. Duffin supplied music for eleven missing movements at the beginning of the work, as well as the missing voices for the next dozen movements for which only alto and bass parts survive.

We know little about Davy other than that he was a student at Magdalen College, Oxford at the time it began occupying its current site, and became its master of the choristers from 1490–1492. Perhaps he also worked at Exeter Cathedral. Read more »

Review: Quire Cleveland in “Hear My Voyce” at St. John’s Cathedral (October 6)

Review: Quire Cleveland sing Davy’s St. Matthew Passion (April 9)

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This past weekend, as the culmination of a three-decade labor of love, Cleveland scholar, professor, and conductor Ross Duffin conducted his reconstruction of 15th-century English composer Richard Davy’s St. Matthew Passion. Performances were given in Akron and Cleveland by Duffin’s own Quire Cleveland with Jeffrey Strauss and Owen McIntosh as the soloists. I heard the Sunday afternoon performance on April 9 at Historic St. Peter’s Church in downtown Cleveland.

Richard Davy was master of the choristers at Oxford’s Magdalen College in the 1490s. His, the first polyphonic Passion setting by a known composer, appeared in the Eton Choirbook, a physically large collection of motets with Davy’s Passion at the end. About a third of the contents have gone missing over the past five centuries, including portions of Davy’s work. Read more »

Review: Quire Cleveland: “Carols for Quire VIII” at Trinity Cathedral (December 2)

QuireTrinityMost choirs do well to take on one or two non-English languages in their programs. Quire Cleveland handily dispatched Christmas music from five centuries in Latin, Finnish, Latvian, Spanish (in several of its dialects), Wendat, Abenaki, Mohawk, and Afro-Portuguese in the eighth edition of “Carols for Quire” at Trinity Cathedral on Friday evening, December 2. Whatever the language, they sounded terrific. Read more »

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