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Cloudburst and other choral works CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

Price: £13.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Composer: Eric Whitacre
  • Audio CD (30 Jan. 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B000E1XOUS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,719 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I Thank You God for Most This Amazing Day
  2. I Hide Myself
  3. Sleep
  4. I Will Wade Out
  5. Go, Lovely Rose
  6. When David Heard
  7. Hope, Faith, Life, Love
  8. Cloudburst
  9. With a Lily in Your Hand
  10. Thsi Marriage
  11. Water Night
  12. A Boy And A Girl
  13. Her Sacred Spirit Soars
  14. Lux Aurumque

Product Description

At the age of only 35, Eric Whitacre has already gained a phenomenal reputation in the United States. The Los Angeles Times described his music as having 'electric, chilling harmonies; works of unearthly beauty and imagination' and his "Water Night" (included on this new recording) has become one of the most popular choral works of the last decade, and is one of the top-selling choral publications of all time.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this CD after hearing the track 'Sleep' on Classic FM and reading the reviews from other Amazon customers. Both the writing by Eric Whitacre and performance by Polyphony and Stephen Layton are of the highest quality. It is spine-tingling stuff and highly recommended to all lovers of choral music. I have worked with Stephen Layton when he was a guest conductor with the choir I sing with and he was truly inspirational. Thank you Hyperion for making this recording possible.
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Format: Audio CD
If you wish to understand how music can bring inner peace and healing and touch the deepest emotions, listen to this quite remarkable album. It evokes joy, anguish and moments of profound stillness and the music echoes every mood and nuance of the wonderful poems. I cannot praise Polyphony highly enough - their recent album of Morten Lauridsen's equally ravishing choral work (Lux Aeterna)- was achingly beautiful, but this has touched a further dimension of artistic expression. Outstanding tracks for me are "I thank thee God", "Sleep" and "A Boy and a Girl". Eric Whitacre wherever you are - bless you.
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Format: Audio CD
I like to think of Eric Whitacre as the healthy face of modern music making. His shoulder length blond hair suggests a musical apprenticeship in an early 90's grunge rock band. Things might have turned out that way, but everything changed on the day he joined the choir at college to check out the girls - and got entranced by the sound of Mozart's Requiem which they were rehearsing. His first works written in 1991 around age 21 that are included here: `I hide myself' (words by Emily Dickenson) and `Go, lovely rose' (words by Edward Waller), are squarely in the area of American and British 20th century choral traditions, but already his ability to conjure up ravishing harmonies is evident.

From the first notes on this disc: a setting of e e cummings `I thank you God for this most amazing day', the music says ` classic choral composition'. It isn't so much that the music reminds the listener of any particular previous music, it is more that this composer has the elements of choral composition under his complete control and knows just how to bring voices together to produce this elusive transcendent sound. Some people hear echoes of Avro Part, but if anything Whitacre is the Anti-Part: where Part strives for simplicity Whitacre luxuriates in richness. Listening to his music is like having your ears kissed by angels.

Near the centre of the disc are two longer settings. Track 6 `When David heard' gradually and insistently builds over its 13 minute length with the repeated affirmation `my son'. Track 8 `Cloudburst' is the most ambitious composition here with voices rising from speech into song, eventually joined by the clapping, finger clicking and thigh tapping of the singers to stimulate a rainstorm. It works incredibly well.
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By A Customer on 14 Feb. 2006
Format: Audio CD
I totally agree with the other reviewers. Polyphony are apparently peerless and Eric Whitacre's music is outstandingly beautiful, and very moving at times (especially given Stephen Layton's sensitive direction - the way he holds back in Sleep, fo example, is stunning). Go and buy this now!!
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Format: Audio CD
Eric Whitacre, at the age of 36, is already one of America's most established choral composers. It's such a shame that his music isn't as well known over here, as in my opinion, this is the most amazing choral music you will ever hear by a long shot.
The composer has released one a capella album before this with the Brigham Young University Choir, which was an amazing recording. However, this recording by Polyphony (a professional choir from the UK) stands out miles above this. Everything you'd want from a choir, you have in this album - beautiful music, pure tone and superb ensemble.
The choir manage to create such an angelic sound, with the music managing to float effortlessly above the listener. The tone of the soloists is pure, and the sound of the whole ensemble is crisp.
My favourite is 'When David Heard', a setting of the devastating text taken from samuel 2. The amount of emotion in this piece is heart-wrenching, and you will never hear a better piece of music.
Overall, thisis pne hell of an album, with a brilliant choir, superb direction and spectacular composition. I suggest buying this album!
It beats listening to Mozart this year!!!
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By A Customer on 7 Feb. 2006
Format: Audio CD
I agree with the reviewer above. This is the finest choral album I've ever heard. "When David heard..." is extraordinary. "Sleep" and "This marriage" are luminous and moving. But my favourite is the unusual setting of Emily Dickinson's poem, "I hide myself".
I have found nothing to match Polyphony's singing and Whitacre's music reveals yet more of this group's powers.
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By A Customer on 22 Feb. 2006
Format: Audio CD
I don't think I've ever heard choral singing of this calibre before... this disk should be required listening for anyone who wants to sing contemporary choral music.
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Format: Audio CD
My two favourite tracks are Sleep - a track to listen to over and over again - and When David Heard, which takes you on an emotionally roller-coaster juxtaposing harsh with beautiful. Polyphony are excellent and I love the harmonies.

However, in being solely a CD of Whitacre's music, the beauty of these two outstanding tracks is somewhat lost as the style remains the same throughout. Buy the CD if you really like it, otherwise I'd suggest just downloading these two tracks.
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