Eric Whitacre: Water Night

Audio Samples

>Whitacre, Eric : Alleluia, for chorus
>Whitacre, Eric : Equus, for wind ensemble or orchestra
>Whitacre, Eric : Oculi Omnium, for chorus
>Whitacre, Eric : The River Cam, for cello & string orchestra
>Whitacre, Eric : Her sacred spirit soars
>Whitacre, Eric : Water Night (version for string orchestra)
>Whitacre, Eric : Goodnight Moon, for soprano, harp & string orchestra
>Whitacre, Eric : When David Heard
>Whitacre, Eric : Sleep, my Child, for chorus

Album Summary

>Whitacre, Eric : Alleluia, for chorus
>Whitacre, Eric : Equus, for wind ensemble or orchestra
>Whitacre, Eric : Oculi Omnium, for chorus
>Whitacre, Eric : The River Cam, for cello & string orchestra
>Whitacre, Eric : Her sacred spirit soars
>Whitacre, Eric : Water Night (version for string orchestra)
>Whitacre, Eric : Goodnight Moon, for soprano, harp & string orchestra
>Whitacre, Eric : When David Heard
>Whitacre, Eric : Sleep, my Child, for chorus
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Eric Whitacre's new album "Water Night" features no less than 7 world premiere recordings. Winning a Grammy in 2012 for his first recording as both composer and conductor, Light and Gold, this second disc for Decca juxtaposes music written as a young composer alongside brand new repertoire, choral and orchestral, with different influences and styles. Rave reviews have accompanied every appearance to date of Eric's professional choir, the Eric Whitacre Singers, and they positively shimmer on these world premiere recordings of Alleluia and Oculi Omnium, the two brand new works alongside one of the greats of his catalogue, Her Sacred Spirit Soars. Flashes of Adams and Glass, filmic in part, virtuosic yet erring towards minimalism, Equus is played by the full forces of the London Symphony Orchestra. By way of complete contrast, The River Cam is a beautiful, pastoral piece that demonstrates Nevada-born Whitacre's absorption of the works of Elgar and Vaughan Williams during his time in the UK as a visiting Fellow at Cambridge University. The River Cam was written at the invitation of the distinguished cellist, Julian Lloyd Webber, for his birthday.

Gramophone Magazine
At times on this second release for Decca, Whitacre 'does Whitacre' very well indeed. The positives are to be found in works which build upon the firm foundations laid down in his trademark choral style...[Oculi Omnium's] consonant-sounding clusters create wonderfully rippling effects. Such stacked harmonies are heard on earlier works on this disc, such as the ambitious 17-minute When David heard.

The Independent
It's packed with premiere performances, including new choral works "Oculi Omnium" and "Alleluia", the latter a single-word showcase for the Eric Whitacre Singers, the later stages of which achieve a glistening, white-light clarity.

Customer Review
I'm in awe of the musicianship of this album. Goosebumps have me in a vice and won't let me go....

Buffalo News
So beautiful is his music and so ingratiating his way of explicating and presenting it that Whitacre continues to sound almost too good to be true, if not completely unreal. He's very real, though, and apparently quite true to his musical calling.

Bowers & Wilkins
This is a particularly interesting pairing; these two works were written at around the same time while both composers had found sanctuary from World War II in America. Though very different in conception, they provide a snapshot of how their creativity continued to flourish in the New World.

Last FM
An accomplished composer, conductor and lecturer, Eric Whitacre has quickly become one of the most popular and performed composers of his generation. The Los Angeles Times has praised his compositions as "works of unearthly beauty and imagination, (with) electric, chilling harmonies"; while the BBC raves that "what hits you straight between the eyes is the honesty, optimism and sheer belief that passes any pretension.

The Times
Whitacre's young singers can really sing, and Grace Davidson's soprano solos are a joy. When David Heard, the longest piece, attains some thoughtful majesty...Taken in small doses, there is something endearing, and very American, about the music's naivety and sunshine smile.

BBC Music Magazine
In The River Cam...Vaughan Williams and Elgar are acknowledged points of reference, and the mellowly lyrical lines spun for solo cello are feelingly played here by Julian Lloyd Webber, for whose 60th birthday the piece was written...[When David heard] remains one of Whitacre's most intensely expressive pieces. It's raptly performed here, with the composer conducting, and is the high point of this particular programme.

METRO
At its best - and there's plenty on Water Night - his music builds beautiful cathedrals of sound...to hear the Eric Whitacre Singers recorded with such bloom and depth is a real treat.

American Record Guide, July / August 2012
Of the choral works, 'Alleluia', 'Oculi Omnium' (The Eyes of All) and 'Sleep My Child' (composed for Chanticleer) are firstever recordings. The 'Alleluia' is pleasant and luminous, while the 'Oculi Omnium' is notable for the gentle, undulating dissonances that have made the composer famous. Brightest and freshest of all is 'Her Sacred Spirit Soars', the acrostic and ode to Elizabeth I composed in 2002. The singing is beautiful and strong. I'm assuming a full booklet will be available by the time you buy this, as many of you will. For while this offering gives us Eric Whitacre in transition, I'll wager his many fans will want to follow him wherever the music leads.



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Works Details

>Whitacre, Eric : Alleluia, for chorus
  • Performers: Alexander Learmonth; Grace Davidson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2011

>Whitacre, Eric : Equus, for wind ensemble or orchestra
  • Running Time: 9 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2000

>Whitacre, Eric : Oculi Omnium, for chorus
  • Performer: Grace Davidson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2011

>Whitacre, Eric : The River Cam, for cello & string orchestra
  • Performer: Julian Lloyd Webber (Cello)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 2011

>Whitacre, Eric : Her sacred spirit soars
  • Running Time: 6 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2002

>Whitacre, Eric : Water Night (version for string orchestra)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2011

>Whitacre, Eric : Goodnight Moon, for soprano, harp & string orchestra
  • Performer: Hila Plitmann (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Whitacre, Eric : When David Heard
  • Performer: Benedict Hymas (Tenor)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1999

>Whitacre, Eric : Sleep, my Child, for chorus
  • Performers: Grace Davidson (Soprano); Laura Oldfield (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary