Quire Cleveland makes life more harmonious by introducing audiences to choral music not heard in the modern era — including modern premieres of works newly discovered or reconstructed — breathing life into the music of our shared heritage. Through the human voice, Quire provides a vital connection to distant lands and ages past, revealing the timeless universality of this art. Under the artistic direction of Ross W. Duffin, Quire performs 9 centuries of a cappella repertoire.

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. Read more (2) »

CityMusic Cleveland transports listeners with Mozart, Schubert

CityMusic Cleveland is an essential part of the region’s musical fabric. Just ask Mozart and Schubert.

The Viennese masters have the pleasure of spending nearly an hour with the chamber orchestra on the program music director James Gaffigan is leading this week to end the ensemble’s fifth season. As short as the concert may be, it’s full of transporting and towering achievement. […]

The score’s choral duties were entrusted to the inspired voices of Quire Cleveland, the new professional ensemble that focuses mainly on Medieval and Renaissance repertoire. On this occasion, it was delightful to hear director Peter Bennett and his choristers also bring exceptional purity of pitch and crisp enunciation to the Classical needs of Schubert’s youthful lines. Read more »

Instant Karma

Listening to the presentation of Quire, the new professional a capella choir during their premiere performance, one had the impression that the joyful sounds could easily have soared to the very heavens, had not the beautifully ornate gothic roof of St. John’s Cathedral stood in the way. The concert was titled “Sing Joyfully,” appropriate as the first work performed was a piece by that name, from the composer William Byrd. Several other pieces by him were also presented, as were songs by Thomas Tallis, Thomas Weelkes and Orlando Gibbons. Englishmen all, they lived between perhaps 1505 to 1625. It is the sort of music that this sort of edifice displays in all its glory. Read more »

New Choir, Quire, Offer Joyous Debut

In olden days, a choir was known as a quire. The spelling may be considered obsolete now, but not the concept, as the newest professional ensemble in town appears happy to proclaim. 

The debut concert of Quire Cleveland on Wednesday at St. John’s Cathedral in downtown Cleveland ends a drought of two decades. Not since the Robert Page Cleveland Singers closed shop has the city possessed a professional chorus. As led by Peter Bennett, a British-born faculty member at Case Western Reserve University, Quire Cleveland has set out to explore unaccompanied works mostly from the late medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras. 

Bennett and his 18 singers introduced themselves with a bounty of sacred English music from the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The program’s title, “Sing Joyfully,” was reflected in sophisticated, alert artistry. Read more »