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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: Home - VOCES8 sings Whitacre

The cover to Home
The cover to Home

VOCES8 returns to our CD Spotlight with Home, a collection of songs by Eric Whitacre. The centerpiece of the CD is “The Sacred Veil,” a setting of poems by Charles Anthony Silvestri, Julia Lawrence Silvestri, and Whitacre that tackles our greatest hopes and our darkest fears. It is deeply personal, too, as it chronicles the love of Tony and Julia, the birth of their children, and Julia’s death from ovarian cancer. It took Silvestri ten years to chronicle that love, that loss, and the very thin line between the two in “our fragile, fleeting world.” The project provided the release that Silvestri needed. “Sacred Veil was a huge closure moment,” he says. “Having closed my marriage to Julie and raised our kids, I have done my duty to my vow to her. Even if no one ever performed it, I would consider it to be the best thing in my life.” It is a piece that is both heartbreaking and affirming.

Whitacre chose four pieces to add to the mix, including the always moving “The Seal Lullaby” and “Sing Gently,” which was performed three years ago during the pandemic shutdown for Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 6. The lyrics send a message that, somehow, we find a voice of unity in these divisive days.

Says Whitacre, “As a composer, having the chance to have my music brought to life by musicians of this caliber is, well, all I could ever hope for.” May Home be everything you could hope for as well.

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.