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Artist Spotlight: Leah Dexter on “Terra Nostra”

Darkness, the alto aria from Terra Nostra

The aria “Darkness” that Stacy Garrop composed for the mezzo-soprano, was a very personal and moving piece to perform and record, that left me in a completely vulnerable state. It changed me forever. From Lord Byron’s poignant, powerful words, to the affected wailing and whispering of the accompanying female chorus, the piece evokes images of ultimate terror, destruction, desolation and sadness. A dramatic powerhouse of an aria, it was incredibly difficult to bring this piece to life with the images presented and how they relate quite closely to the current state of the world. I am hoping that the listening audience will be moved just as much as I was and feel just how powerful this particular scene is, and also, how tragically beautiful.



Mary Elizabeth Bowden, praised for her “splendid, brilliant” artistry (Gramophone), celebrates the narrative power of the trumpet. Bowden is joined by the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and conductor Allen Tinkham in a collection of new concertos that redefine the trumpet’s voice in modern classical music.

Monthly Playlist

To celebrate Cedille’s May 10 release of the Pacifica Quartet‘s American Voices, featuring music based on folk and popular music elements, a playlist of pieces based on folk songs, dances, hymns, spirituals, etc. (real or invented). We’ll add tracks from the new album when it’s released on 5/10.

Album of the Week

Enjoy 25% off of Cedille’s Featured Release.

Listen Now

On this episode of Classical Chicago, Cedille President Jim Ginsburg talks with Pacifica Quartet violinist Austin Hartman about his experience recording Cedille’s latest release, American Voices. The multiple Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet continues its highly acclaimed recording series that explores the sounds of America with an album comprising string quartets incorporating elements of American folk music and spirituals by Antonín Dvořák, Florence Price, and Louis Gruenberg, plus a new work by James Lee III.