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Eric Whitacre

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Well said karelm.  I'm a fan and know many people deeply touched by his music.  Yes, he is a favorite target for the more cynical and pretentious in the classical world, but he is an earnestly passionate guy beyond any legitimate personal criticism and whatever you think of his music, you can't deny that he's doing a lot to bring young people into the fold.  

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21 hours ago, karelm said:

In the youtube Proms clip he jokes about how many cell phones go off normally during Proms performances but here they must wait for his cue.  I can just imagine how everyone was patiently just watching him to not screw up.

 

I was at that concert @karelm and in fact it was my first taste of Eric Whitacre's music.  I had downloaded the Deep Field app beforehand and you are so right about patiently watching him and hoping he would make it obvious when to come in!  It was a truly magical experience as the lights in the hall had been dimmed and the choir filled the aisles all around the auditorium.

 

Since that concert I have seen Eric Whitacre three more times in London, once again at the Royal Albert Hall (again with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), once at Milton Court with the BBC Singers and most recently at St. James's in Piccadilly with the Eric Whitacre Singers.  He comes across as a genuinely nice person and always seems more than happy to promote the works of other composers alongside his own, the likes of John Powell and Laura Mvula among them.  I was very taken with his I Fall, part of a larger work written for the death of a dear friend, and hope that it is recorded soon.

 

One of my favourite pieces of his is Goodnight Moon.  Who would have thought that a woman singing the words of a children's bedtime story book could be so moving?  This recording features the LSO and Eric Whitacre's lovely wife, Hila Plitmann.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Omen II said:

 

I was at that concert @karelm and in fact it was my first taste of Eric Whitacre's music.  I had downloaded the Deep Field app beforehand and you are so right about patiently watching him and hoping he would make it obvious when to come in!  It was a truly magical experience as the lights in the hall had been dimmed and the choir filled the aisles all around the auditorium.

 

Since that concert I have seen Eric Whitacre three more times in London, once again at the Royal Albert Hall (again with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), once at Milton Court with the BBC Singers and most recently at St. James's in Piccadilly with the Eric Whitacre Singers.  He comes across as a genuinely nice person and always seems more than happy to promote the works of other composers alongside his own, the likes of John Powell and Laura Mvula among them.  I was very taken with his I Fall, part of a larger work written for the death of a dear friend, and hope that it is recorded soon.

 

One of my favourite pieces of his is Goodnight Moon.  Who would have thought that a woman singing the words of a children's bedtime story book could be so moving?  This recording features the LSO and Eric Whitacre's lovely wife, Hila Plitmann.

 

 

My god, what a voice.  That is a beautiful work, thanks for posting.

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You might enjoy this performance of Eric Whitacre's Sleep by the vocal ensemble VOCES8, recorded at St. Stephen Walbrook in the City of London.  Lovely stuff.

 

 

In other Whitacre news, his new work The Sacred Veil will receive its UK premiere in October this year (I believe there will be two concerts at St. John's Smith Square).

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I went to the European premiere of Whitacre's The Sacred Veil at St. John's Smith Square in Westminster last night.  It was a very moving experience, especially for anyone who has lost someone close to them.  The piece tells the story of the courtship, love, loss and search for solace of Charles Anthony Silvestri (Whitacre's best friend and writer of the words to many of his works, e.g. Sleep) following the death of his wife Julie from ovarian cancer in 2005.  The work is in twelve movements as follows:

 

  1. The Veil Opens
  2. In a Dark and Distant Year
  3. Home
  4. Magnetic Poetry
  5. Whenever There Is Birth
  6. I'm Afraid
  7. I Am Here
  8. Delicious Times
  9. One Last Breath
  10. Dear Friends
  11. You Rise, I fall
  12. Child of Wonder

 

Such a premise runs the risk of bathos or coming across as quite maudlin (dare I say especially for a stiff-upper-lip British audience), but it really was outstanding in both the words and the music.  Some of the words were taken from Julia Silvestri's own diary entries and e-mails (Dear Friends in particular I found heartbreaking).  The words were projected on a screen behind the choir which was a neat idea, as it allowed the audience to pay full attention to the choir and musicians (pianist Christopher Glynn and cellist Jeffrey Zeigler) instead of following the words in the programme.  When it finished a couple of the choir members were wiping tears from their eyes.  If you get the chance to see this piece performed, I heartily recommend it.  It will be recorded for release next year on Signum Records.

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On 8/31/2018 at 10:13 PM, Omen II said:

 

 

 

Wow, that is incredibly sweet. Reminds me of a song you'd hear in a late 80s / early 90s animated children's film. Beautiful string arrangement.

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