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September 7, 2010

From Zero To Hero: Seraphic Fire's Viral Monteverdi

NPR All Things Considered

Last week, a recording of Claudio Monteverdi's 1610 masterpiece, Vespers of the Blessed Virgin, was released on iTunes. It promptly landed in the Top 10 classical recordings on iTunes, sandwiched between the London Symphony Orchestra's Beethoven and Yo-Yo Ma's Bach. What makes this surprising is that the recording is by a little-known Miami-based professional choir called Seraphic Fire - and the musicians released it themselves.

Seraphic Fire made its debut a little more than seven years ago. Classical music critic Greg Stepanich says it's become an essential part of South Florida's music scene — performing works from the Renaissance to the 21st century.

"Every concert that they do is all thought out, intellectually," he says. "And when you go hear it, it's vocally brilliant."

The group's founder and conductor is Patrick Dupre Quigley. Under his leadership, Seraphic Fire has sung with the New World Symphony and recorded with Shakira on her album Oral Fixation 2.

A couple years ago, when Seraphic Fire received a $25,000 grant, the group decided to tackle a big project: recording Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, one of the greatest choral works of all time. It teamed up with the Western Michigan University Chorale and recorded it in a little stone chapel in Kalamazoo. Read and listen to more.

Posted by acapnews at September 7, 2010 10:59 PM

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