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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.
I first heard of Eric Whitacre when I was sent an email explaining how he put together this amazing sounding "choir" of over 900 people. The music is truly amazing. Log on to his web site the information there is inspiring. I am sure you will enjoy the music better if you see the way in which it was put together by singers from all over the world and spliced together by Eric. Enjoy!
Oui tout simplement à découvrir. Certains morceaux sont d'une grande beauté dans leur simplicité. Je suis heureuse de constater qu'à l'heure de la déferlante des musiques RAP et autres de jeunes compositeurs puissent composer de la musique sacrée. Bravo !
I am a fairly recent fan of a cappella choral music, having found my way there through the wonderful choral music coming out of the Baltic. I thought I'd give an American a try. Whitacre's music is pleasant, and even quite enjoyable at times; however, it lacks that special musical magic that seems to imbue the music of current Baltic choral composers. I have no idea what that magic is. I am suspicious that some of the performances on this CD are weakened by what I perceive as relatively slow tempos, though I am always reserved in criticizing performances conducted by the composer - it seems counter-intuitive. Still, other reviewers, better versed in choral performance, seemed to suggest the same tendency. Despite that, I like this CD and have listened to it several times. It's a nice and worthy production. On the other hand, it's probably enough Whitacre for me.
Nice as background music because most of it is at the same slow tempo and each song sounds largely like every other song--except Seal Lullabye. I was not as excited about this CD as I expected I would be, but I like the mood it brings on and the "wash" of sound. Good for yoga or meditation time.
I think I will always prefer BYU's album to all others because the emotion and purity of his works weren't lost on lack of blend.
This CD by far had the hardest blend of BYU Singers, Polyphony and EW Singers. The members compiled together are not singing cohesively in this album and it shows. BYU has a large advantage of having a director who knows what he wants from a choir and how to get it from Audition to performance. Straight tone choirs tend to work well with EW's compositions, and the singers on this CD are much more MATURE for straight tone singing.
I felt Boy and A Girl on the preview video of them recording this track sounded better than the track. I heard the preview and HAD TO HAVE THE CD.
I was ultimately disappointed as I listened to the tracks and put the CD away not to be heard since.
I'm kind of hooked on choral music lately and this is very nicely done; it's not something to sing along with in the car coming home from shopping (or maybe it is), but it doesn't hurt to exercise the brain as well as the toes