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      After Silence

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      The album After Silence marks the 15th anniversary of the virtuoso ensemble Voces8, and its title comes from a quotation of Aldous Huxley: "After silence, that which comes closest to expressing the inexpressible is music." The album has had an unusual presentation. It was released in four separate parts, titled "Remembrance," "Devotion," "Redemption," and "Elemental," and then the four were combined into the present release, packaged as a double album with visual and text elements enhancing the material in the physical version. All of the releases have combined music in new ways. One might think of the music here as the opposite of historical performance: Voces8 brings together music from hugely disparate sources under the four themes listed above. Some of the sources are sacred, and some are secular, but they are linked by their thematic content, and in so doing, they delve into the texts in unusually deep ways. Listen to the original "Devotion" material, from Eric Whitacre's A Boy and A Girl to Bach's "Jesus bleibet meine Freude" on the present release, for an idea of the mixture and its powers. Whether listeners will prefer to hear the four separate parts or hear them sequenced together may be a matter of preference, but the emotional and spiritual variety and innovation are evident in the full release. Whichever form listeners choose, they will find that Voces8 has never sounded better. The difficult eight-voice configuration has arguably never been done more effectively, and the concept the group essays here exploits the vocal texture in a completely fresh way. This is an unusually beautiful small-choir release.

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