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Sharing releases, present and past, to brighten your day. WXXI Classical has its eyes and ears on the latest releases from classical artists working today. When we come across a story or a release we think you might enjoy, we’ll be sharing it with you on CD Spotlight. You’ll learn more about the artists online at WXXI Classical, and you’ll hear selections from these artists on FM 91.5. CD Spotlight shares new releases by artists that you’ll want to know and some by great artists and ensembles that deserve to be in the spotlight again.

CD Spotlight: Bach to Black, Vol. 2 by Rochelle Sennet

Cover of Bach to Black, Vol. 2
Cover of Bach to Black, Vol. 2

In 2021, Rochelle Sennet released Bach to Black, interweaving piano works of Johann Sebastian Bach and Black composers. At the time, Dr. Sennet said, "Bach to Black represents my strong interest in performing repertoire by Black composers in combination with works of J.S. Bach. The suites included on this recording represent beauty, excellence, contrast, celebration of dance style, and dialogue.”

Two years down the line the dance and dialogue are extended, as she revisits the idea, giving us Bach to Black, Vol. 2. This time around, she has added Black women to the mix: Florence Price, Montague Ring, and Joyce Solomon Moorman, along with Ulysses Kay, Harry Burleigh, and Rochester’s George Walker, are all blended with Bach’s Partitas. The result is a satisfying combination of the old and the new, which seamlessly flows together with the beauty of Dr. Sennet’s playing.

Dr. Sennet is the inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the College of Fine and Applied Arts at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she also serves as Associate Professor of Piano in the School of Music. Bach to Black, Vol. 2 is a perfect extension of her life’s work, and a worthy successor to her first CD.

A Strong Memorial baby and Greece Arcadia grad, Julia Figueras was the Music Director and mid-day host for WXXI Classical until June 30, 2023 when she retired after more than 26 years of service. She also hosted the award-winning monthly interview/performance show, Backstage Pass.