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For anyone who likes choral music, this is a worthy addition to any collection. I first heard Water Night on classic fm and was pulled in by its delicate emotive content. Bear with me here; I'm not a musician, I'm a carpenter and can't write intelligently about the finer points of a piece of music. I bought the collection on the strength of that single track, and I'm not disappointed. In a way, I'm glad that I can't consider the music by commenting on its structure, form, balance, etc. I either like it, or I don't. I admire Mr Whitacre's obvious talent - and the sheer nous needed to transform the emotional feelings in his head to the myriad dots on the sheets so that musicians and voices can be cajoled, nursed, bullied? and made to bring that creation to listeners' ears. Imagine doing all that, then having it played, and hoping that you've communicated your emotions to countless other heads - all that hard work! But that's by the way really; you like it or you don't. I'll stop meandering and say that this is a wonderful collection. I'll finish by saying that the choral music that lifts all gravity away from my bod is Mozart's, 'Ave Verum Corpus', 'Laudate Dominum'; Vivaldi's, 'Et In Terra Pax' (589), and Faure's, 'In Paradisum'. You like choral? You must have those too! 28th June: Since entering the above, I've discovered another recording of 'Water Night' performed on, 'Whitacre: The Complete A Capella Works', by the Brigham Young University singers. Here is a superb version of this music; the warmth and power in the voices is awesome! I've ordered the disc - despite its breathtaking price and hope to enjoy more of the contents.
This is another CD purchased on behalf of my wife who has sung at least two of the works recorded here.
Eric Whitacre is one of the most popular and performed composers of his generation (boasting pop star good looks into the bargain!) and this disc represents, I suppose, something of a "greatest hits" compilation (the notable absentee being "Cloudburst", one of the most popular pieces in the modern choral repertoire).
"Seal Lullaby" (written for an unmade animated film) verges on the corny, perhaps, but there are some ravishing pieces here, not least "Lux Aurumque", which opens the CD and gives the disc its title; written for Whitacre's Virtual Choir, it shimmers and glows to beautiful effect. Indeed, there are many lovely things here...almost enough to make me a convert to modern choral music...and Whitacre's harmonies are especially beguiling. A special favourite of mine is "Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine".
The recording (made in 2010) is excellent and the performers, including the King's Singers, Laudibus and the Eric Whitacre Singers, give expert accounts of the works featured. The CD booklet offers illuminating, if rather effusive, sleeve notes by the composer himself.
Some might say that this music is derivative but I prefer to think that it is influenced by many different composers with enough originality to make it interesting. I bought the CD for Lux Aurumque, which is very beautiful and reminds me of Vaughan Williams' Mass In G Minor at times. However, there are other very attractive offerings and the whole is beautifully performed. Could we have a truly original voice in the modern classical genre here?
Bought after hearing "Leonardo dreams of his flying machine" on radio. Stunning voices, gorgeous clashing chords. Hear something new every time I listen. Will be buying another album from this composer.
One of the songs from this CD just happened to be playing one morning on the radio as I drove my kids to school. We were mesmerised, stopped the car and listened in silence till the end, at which point I grabbed pen and paper to write down the title and ordered this. We have not been disappointed. Played it on a loop over Christmas and have continued to love it since. Simply beautiful.