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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: The House of Belonging

Are we going to just chat for a minute, standing at the door, a pleasant visit among neighbors?

Then let’s get to the heart of it: the excellent choir Conspirare, led by artistic director Craig Hella Johnson, has a new album out with the Miró Quartet, “The House of Belonging.” Check out these world premiere recordings of poetic songs by contemporary and recent composers here.

Want to discuss it more? Follow me inside here…

“This is the bright home
in which I live,
this is where
I ask
my friends
to come,
this is where I want
to love all the things
it has taken me so long
to learn to love.”
David Whyte, from The House of Belonging

What is home? A place? (this whole earth, the universe, or a specific garden or forest) A person? A sense you find in yourself? Something unknowable?

The poems and the songs weave together the these ideas of house, home, belonging - our place in the world.

In addition to Whyte’s "The House of Belonging," the music weaves together poetry and prose by Wendell Berry, Hildegard of Bingen, Ludwig van Beethoven, Langston Hughes, John Muir, Rabindranath Tagore, and others, including a haiku by Kobayashi Issa (as translated by Robert Hass).

In this world
we walk on the roof of hell
gazing at flowers

Most (all?) of the compositions are world premiere recordings: perhaps you’ll know some of the names: Eastman alum Kevin Puts, Margaret Bonds (with her frequent collaborator Langston Hughes), Shara Nova, Derrick Skye, or Craig Hella Johnson. Others were new to me: Alex Berko, Michael Schachter, and Ross Lee Finney and Moira Smiley

There’s so much beauty here, and the music and the words combined weave a spell. You can find the album as a CD or download here and you'll hear selections over the next couple weeks featured on WXXI Classical. Thanks for visiting...

“Let my thoughts come to you, when I
am gone, like the afterglow of sunset at
the margin of starry silence.”

—Rabindranath Tagore

Mona Seghatoleslami is the Music Director, host and producer on WXXI Classical 91.5 FM weekdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. She also hosts the lunchtime concert series Live From Hochstein Wednesdays at 12:10 p.m., interviews musicians, produces special programs, and works on any project she can find that helps connect people and music in our community through WXXI.