I’m not really into a lot of choral music, despite what vocal aficionados say about it being the purest musical form. But Eric Whitacre is an exception. His third album, Water Night, has just come out, and it’s an album for people who might not even like choral music. It’s on Decca Records, a label with a great classical history.
I did an NPR feature years ago after hearing his first album Cloudburst. I recalled how a former neighbor, rumbling into the underground garage next door in his muscle car, once yelled up at me while I was listening to Duruflé’s luminous Requiem “hey Tom, who died?”. Choral music sometimes reminds people of funerals (not so gospel choral music, which is upbeat and joyful). Eric’s music is sweeping and not about funerals. Far from it.
What would you expect from a guy who went to the University of Las Vegas as an undergraduate and was told that a good way to meet girls was to join choir? He joined, but was smitten instead by Mozart’s Requiem. A guy who sent cd’s to graduate schools and was awarded a four year scholarship to Juilliard? And a guy whose surfer-guy hot looks could get him modeling jobs?
Eric Whitacre is also spreading the good word on choral music to young students all over the world. He has thousands of Facebook fans. And his music is both rigorous and accessible, two qualities that don’t always go together. Check out the youtube videos for a taste.
Here is the NPR All Things Considered story I did on Cloudburst.
And two of the new songs from Water Night. The title track reprises the Octavio Paz choral poem from Eric’s earlier cd Cloudburst, but this time as an orchestral version with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Another song, “Her Sacred Spirit Soars”
Enjoy these two pieces. You just may find yourself levitating.