The Sacred Veil - a project led by Eric Whitacre and Charles Anthony Silvestri - was created following the passing of Charles’ wife, Julia in 2005. It represents a journey towards the answer for many questions, including whether departed loved ones are truly gone, and how can we mourn those we have lost whilst still moving forward? In Charles’ own words, the project became “a significant part of my journey toward healing and wholeness after great loss.”
Poet, author, composer, and speaker Charles Anthony Silvestri has worked with other artists from all over the world to create texts tailor-made for their commissions and specific artistic needs. He enjoys the challenge of solving these creative problems and has provided custom choral texts, opera libretti, program notes and other writing for composers including Eric Whitacre, Ola Gjeilo, Kim Arnesen, and Dan Forrest, and for ensembles ranging from high schools to the Houston Grand Opera, from the King’s Singers to the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, from Westminster Choir College to Westminster Abbey.
Grammy® Award-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is one of the world’s most performed living composers. His works have been programmed worldwide by millions of amateur and professional performers, while his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs have united singers from over 120 different countries. Eric, a graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School of Music, is presently Artist in Residence with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, following five years as Composer in Residence at the University of Cambridge, UK.As conductor of the Eric Whitacre Singers, he has released such chart-topping albums including Light and Gold and Water Night. In high demand as guest conductor, he has drawn capacity audiences to concerts with the Netherlands Radio Choir, London Symphony Orchestra, Flemish Radio Choir, and Minnesota Orchestra.
The Sacred Veil is notable simply as one of the most deeply personal pieces of concert music heard in quite some time. Yet there is more to its profound effect than this. Whitacre responds to the texts with a sober language akin to but quite distinct from his usual style, something like the dark language cultivated by Renaissance composers for the requiem mass and other serious texts. The performances by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, under Whitacre's direction, are superb, and the sound, from California's Musco Center for the Arts, is exemplary.
– AllMusicGuide.com (James Manheim)
Composer Eric Whitacre and poet Charles Anthony Silvestri, longtime collaborators and close friends, come together for their most personal and expansive work to date. Whitacre has created a powerful score for Silvestri’s heartfelt poetry in the 12-movement work The Sacred Veil. Silvestri’s wife, Julie, died of ovarian cancer at age 36 in 2005, leaving two young children. His texts, written collaboratively with Whitacre, and the intimate, compelling score tell a story of courtship, love, loss, and the search for solace. Whitacre leads the Los Angeles Master Chorale in the world-premiere recording.
– WFMT-FM (Lisa Flynn)