- This marriage, for chorus - Eric Whitacre - Elora Festival Singers - Rumi
- Water Night, for chorus - Eric Whitacre - Octavio Paz - Elora Festival Singers
- A Boy and a Girl, for chorus - Eric Whitacre - Octavio Paz - Elora Festival Singers
- Her sacred spirit soars, for chorus - Eric Whitacre - Elora Festival Singers - Charles Anthony Silvestri
- Little Birds, for chorus & piano - Eric Whitacre - Octavio Paz - Elora Festival Singers - Leslie De'Ath
- Sleep, for chorus - Eric Whitacre - Elora Festival Singers - Charles Anthony Silvestri
- I thank You God for most this amazing day, for soprano & chorus - Eric Whitacre - E.E. Cummings - Elora Festival Singers
- Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine, for chorus - Eric Whitacre - Elora Festival Singers - Charles Anthony Silvestri - Carol Bauman
- When David Heard, for chorus - Eric Whitacre - Elora Festival Singers
- Lux aurumque, for chorus (also for wind ensemble) - Eric Whitacre - Elora Festival Singers - Edward Esch - Charles Anthony Silvestri
Eric Whitacre: Choral Musicby Noel Edison
Not only is the ensemble Elora Festival Singers founded and led by Noel Edison, the resident choir of the summer festival held about an hour west of Toronto, but its concerts, tours, and recordings have established it as one of the freshest Canadian chamber choirs. It's an exceptionally fine group, with a warm, well-blended, youthful sound, and the singers' discipline and technical prowess are evident in everything they sing. This album devoted to the choral music of Eric Whitacre includes almost half of the works for mixed voices he had written up to 2009, and it's an impressive collection. Whitacre is a master of the lusciously rich harmonic language that has become the lingua franca of tonal choral music in the new century, but he also brings an exceptionally lively and unencumbered imagination to the texts he sets, freely using non-traditional vocal techniques that are more often associated with the avant-garde, but in ways that seems entirely organic within his relatively conservative tonal context. The works that use those devices, such as "Little Birds," with a text by Octavio Paz, with its unembarrassed and entirely convincing use of bird sounds, are among the most memorable. "Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine," one of his most spectacular works, is also vocally adventurous, and his incorporation and transformation of polyphonic madrigals is nothing short of stunning in its dramatic and emotional impact. Even the works that are more conventional, such as "Her sacred spirit soars," "Lux aurumque," and "Sleep," have the imprint of Whitacre's distinctive musical personality. "When David Heard" is based on a single sentence, King David's lament over the death of his son Absalom. It lasts 13 minutes and has an austerity and gravity reminiscent of Arvo Pärt. Naxos' sound is clean and warmly present, with just enough resonance for this repertoire. The album makes an excellent introduction to Whitacre's music and should be of strong interest to fans of new choral music.
- Release Date:
- Naxos American
Performance CreditsNoel Edison Primary Artist
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If you're not already familiar with the choral music of Eric Whitacre, watch the video of his "Virtual Choir" performing "Lux aurumque". The fact that this video has already had over one million hits in only three and a half months should be an indication that Whitacre's music is loved by many. This is only the 3rd domestically available CD that I know of that concentrates solely on his choral music. Along with the inclusion of his most popular works, like "Sleep", "i thank you God for most this amazing day", and "Lux aurumque", the disc also includes rarely heard works, such as "little tree" and "Little Birds" (both for choir and piano), and the exciting "Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine" (for choir and percussion instruments). The Elora Festival Singers, under the direction of Noel Edison, sound wonderful, and the sound quality of the disc offers just the right amount of reverberation and space to help the pieces come across warmly. The price makes this CD a good first choice if you are purchasing Whitacre's music for the first time.
What can anyone say about the choral music of Eric Whitacre that hasn't already been said? To say that his compositions are beautiful is an understatement. This cd is full of Whitacre pieces that I can listen to over and over again. I especially adore This Marriage and Little Birds. The Elora Festival singers, under the direction of Noel Edison, perform each piece with incredible precision and and their tone is simply beautiful. Buy the cd - you won't be disappointed.