Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Eric Whitacre is a Genius

Ah, sweet-A Capella-choirs, how I love thee. Especially when you sing songs written by Eric Whitacre. Bliss, lazy smiles, and soothing peace. *sigh* Eric Whitacre is a choral and winds composer, graduate of UNLV and Julliard. I mention UNLV because that's where he first sang in a choir (a girl dragged him in to audition) and he suddenly developed a great talent for contemporary composition. His work always has TIGHT TIGHT TIGHT TIGHT harmonies, usually of more than a dozen parts. We're talking SSSSAAAAATTTTTBBBBB songs. Forget normalcy, and bask in the world of Whitacre.

Top favorites:

When David Heard, the text a direct quote of the biblical verse, "when David heard that Absolom was slain, he went up into his chamber over the gate and wept. And thus he said: my son! my son! my son! Oh Absalom, my son! Would God I had died for thee!" In my biblical Hebrew study I have noticed that the last sentence is written in what is termed the "imperative case," which means it is extremely emphatic, as if to command. He's in great emotional upheaval, and I find it quite touching. I sang the sky-rocket first soprano line in my high schools chamber choir. The song is 16 minutes long... yes I have it memorized...and yeah! it's repetitive.

I Thank You God For Most This Amazing Day. It's a prayer of gratitude which details the glory of nature and the beauty of the earth. I like it for the first phrase (which is also the title) because there is a 17-part harmony split that builds on the last word: day!

Leonardo Dreams "of his flying machine" is just good because of the harmonies and flying tenor line. Breathtaking.

Lux Arumque
is also good.

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