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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: Amoroso by Alex Klein and Rita Costanzi

Cover of Amoroso by Alex Klein and Rita Costanzi
Cover of Amoroso by Alex Klein and Rita Costanzi

“Life is a journey.” So the liner notes of Amoroso begin, words that perfectly sum up this gentle release that seeks to take us full circle through all the vicissitudes of life: love; the search for beauty; the desire for inner peace; the sorrow of loss. Oboist Alex Klein and harpist Rita Costanzi are our musical tour guides, and they have crafted a CD that offers all of those things and more, beginning with a piece dedicated to Costanzi (Michael Cohen's "Canção Pequena") and ending with a Falla lullaby and an invitation to rest. In between are beloved works by Fauré, Debussy, Massenet, Piazzolla, Rachmaninov, and Rodrigo, with new wonders in the mix as well.

This is the collaboration of two musical masters. Klein is the Principal Oboe Emeritus of the Chicago Symphony and currently the Principal Oboe with the Calgary Philharmonic. Costanzi grew up in Rochester, the daughter of famed Eastman School of Music viola professor Francis Tursi. Being the child of a world class musician is not always easy, but Costanzi would follow in her father’s musical footsteps, studying at the Eastman School of Music for over a decade with the renowned harpist Eileen Malone. Klein and Costanzi’s musical partnership began in 2007, when Klein invited Costanzi to spearhead a harp program at his festival in Brazil. They’ve never looked back.

Says Klein, “Rita Costanzi and I reflected on the way music and life walk together, how musical choices are just as fragile and meaningful as life itself, how fulfillment in music, in performance, and in delivery of artistic ideals…are exactly mirrored in how life runs its course through years and decades of what seems like an eternal, never ending pursuit of beauty, belonging, and love.” Amoroso (“to play tenderly and lovingly”) lives up to its name.

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.