Eric Whitacre, Elora Festival Singers, Noel Edison - Choral Music

Published Friday 9th July 2010
Eric Whitacre, Elora Festival Singers, Noel Edison - Choral Music
Eric Whitacre, Elora Festival Singers, Noel Edison - Choral Music

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Naxos American Classics 8559677

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

There are some facts that always hold true and in the reviewing game one is that Naxos always fill their CDs with a full hour and another is that said CDs always represent excellent value for money. Here is something else worth knowing: The Elora Festival Singers always sing well and in Noel Edison we have a conductor we can trust. So with these facts in place we can move into the more subjective area of trying to describe the music. Eric Whitacre was born in 1970 and has already sold more than one million copies of his sheet-music which tells us that he is writing material that choirs want to sing and from which we can deduce that audiences want to hear. This reviewer was certainly very pleased to make Mr Whitacre's acquaintance although we do have to say that the selection of offer here is choral music, as promised, but not especially Christian. The one clearly Biblical text is II Samuel 18: 33 which, to save you looking it up, is "When David Heard" and tells of the king's response to the news that his rebellious son Absalom had been killed. This, like most of the pieces on the CD, is sung a cappella and is very moving. Whitacre has the happy knack of finding appropriate ways of allowing the text to take centre stage and one would imagine that any poet would be glad, nay honoured, to have his or her words put to such lovely music. Frankly, the only poems that this reviewer knew were both by e. e. cummings (the one who does not use capital letters): "little tree" and "i thank you God for most this amazing day". If you enjoy contemporary choral music coming from a similar direction as, say, Part or Tavener, you will love this collection but if you are looking for material to use in a church choir service then this is not going to be much help although "When David Heard" is well worth the price of admission on its own.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

Interested in reviewing music? Find out more here.

Be the first to comment on this article

We welcome your opinions but libellous and abusive comments are not allowed.

We are committed to protecting your privacy. By clicking 'Send comment' you consent to Cross Rhythms storing and processing your personal data. For more information about how we care for your data please see our privacy policy.