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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: fivebyfive's Breath & Fire

Cards on the table: when it comes to fivebyfive, it’s a bit difficult for me to even pretend to be objective. I’m a former board member, a current Advisory Board member, and a forever fan girl. Still, that doesn’t mean I should play it so cool that one of Rochester’s star classical (and beyond) bands doesn’t get their much-deserved time right here in WXXI Classical’s CD Spotlight.

In their latest album,“Breath & Fire,” fivebyfive plays music that sometimes creates such delicate soundscapes, as in the deep exhalations of Ólafur Arnald’ “Öldurót” and the luminous “Dreams of Glass and Water” by Kari Telstad Sundet.

At other points, they dig deep beyond that shimmering beauty, as you can hear in the album’s opener, “Heavy” by Evan Williams and the wild parade of Miguel del Águila’s “Tamboreño”

These different elements all swirl together in the title work, “...of breath and fire,” by composer Amy Nam, who is also featured on that track playing the electric harp. Fellow fans of unusual instruments should also check out the glass flutes that Artistic Director Laura Lentz plays on this album, which are an intriguing addition to many fascinating things to be found in these musical worlds.

Looking for more? fivebyfive’s next project involves even more new music.

They will be playing premieres of pieces inspired by the upcoming eclipse by Jessica Meyer, Marc Mellits, Kamala Sankaram, Glenn McClure, and Julie Herndon in concerts later this month at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. Their first two dates (Jan 20 & 21) sold out, but one more show was added for January 28th. Check it out here.

Keep the hits rolling, friends - you’re coming through, loud and clear.

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.