Really I could sum up my thoughts on this album in just a few words: Oracles by Ana Silvera is the most beautiful album I have heard for years. It grabbed me with the same sense of wonder I felt when I first listened to Maria Callas sing Tosca. I saw a different performance of that role at the Royal Opera House in 1977. There was Pavarotti as Cavaradossi and Raina Kabaivanska as Tosca. I scurried off the next day to a record store on Tottenham Court Road and came home with Maria Callas’ Tosca on vinyl. Fast forward to 2018. Most of us will never be in the situation of poor Tosca, but we all experience grief, struggle daily with our losses. The music is Ana’s response to the death of her brother, to whom the album is dedicated. I feel years of thought have gone into this album, it’s symphonic in its scope and stature, a complete and perfect work of art. There is a small stellar orchestra and choir, and rising above it all the wonderfully affecting voice of Ana Silvera, as fragile as a moth yet strong as sinews.
Oracles is seven compositions that string together like pearls, with delicate lustre, their beauty revealed with repeated listens. The words will stick in your head, you’ve been there: “I stood under the bridge on the eve of his birthday”, “I wasn’t meant for this life”, “I love you so hard I feel my heart break”. Thank you Ana for such beauty, for inspiring such satisfying performances from everyone involved, and for your bravery in letting us into your grief and growth.