12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Lush & delirious,
This review is from: Water Night (Audio CD)
Eric Whitacre is, deservedly, the most popular choral composer of our time. His ethereal compositions have won him hundreds of thousands of fans all across the globe, many of whom say that his music has a profound effect on them. As for myself, I first heard Whitacre's music ("Water Night") in 2001, and have been mesmerized by his music ever since. I can't describe the effect it has on me, but "clearing," "soothing" and "healing" are some words that approach that unearthly experience. It helps me get over a headache, truly. It is so profound, clearing and ecstatic.
This is Whitacre's first CD that also includes orchestral renditions. He's upped his game here -- the choral pieces are more lush, shimmering and spine-tingling than ever. His orchestral pieces are a fairly new offering from him, and gratefully so, since they too are moving and utterly beautiful. "The River Cam" was written for cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and captures the presence of not just the river itself, but of the English pastoral landscape. A delicate, touching, memorable piece.
Very hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to name the one I listen to the most, it would be Alleluia. The way this song swells and fills my entire body with basking joy is a feat that, musically, only Whitacre can do. This song gives me wings. Similar in its exultant joy is "Oculi Omnium," a rewriting of the Gregorian Chant, which Whitacre has spat on his hands and raised from the dead. No longer quiet and secluded -- now alive, effervescent, ebullient -- with the brilliant Grace Davidson soaring to thrilling heights.
"Her Sacred Spirit" feels more like an intimate invocation, a tribute from a loving companion. Made me cry a couple of times. I feel strength is funneled into me as I listen. "Goodnight Moon" is a sweet little tune made delightful by the exquisite Hila Plitmann. Warning, extremely likely to get stuck in your memory.
"When David Heard" has a special place in my heart for the countless times it has brought much-needed consolation when I've suffered from one sorrow or another. A long piece (a good 15 minutes), it really goes there with you in the deep dark place where we stash feelings that are hard to deal with, the sorrows that we are too busy to face when they happen. It gives me a chance to release things that no longer serve me. It's a feat of composition in its unsurpassed honesty in portraying grief. I can't possibly state how transformational and healing this piece is. "David" alone is worth the price of the whole CD.
Eric Whitacre is also known for his immensely popular Virtual Choir project, bringing together people from around the world and enabling them to join in an international choir performance from their living rooms. Whitacre is one of the most performed and beloved composers of our time. The song samples above will show you that this album is just indispensable.