Whitacre: Light & Gold

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Whitacre
LABELS: Decca
WORKS: Light & Gold: Lux Aurumque; Five Hebrew Love Songs; The Seal Lullaby; A Boy and a Girl; Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine etc
PERFORMER: Eric Whitacre Singers; Laudibus; The King’s Singers; Pavão Quartet; Chistopher Glynn (piano)/Eric Whitacre
CATALOGUE NO: 274 3209

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For Whitacre-watchers, the recording situation is getting irritating: there’s considerable overlap between the three CDs of his choral music now on release. What makes this one indispensable is the presence of Whitacre himself conducting, and the three world premiere recordings.

Of these, ‘The Stolen Child’, a joint commission for the King’s Singers and the National Youth Chorus of Great Britain, is the most immediately impressive. Here Whitacre deftly weaves the entreating faerie voices of Yeats’s poem with that of the ‘human child’ in closely interlocking textures whose shifting strands are expertly rendered by the artists in this performance. 

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Five Hebrew Love Songs show the superlative qualities of the composer’s newly formed Eric Whitacre Singers. These are limpidly imagined miniatures, beautifully recreated by Whitacre in an SATB arrangement with string quartet and tambourine accompaniment, from originals for piano, violin and soprano. The burgeoning crescendo which opens ‘i thank You God’ is one among many other examples of the EW Singers’ technical and expressive excellence. Terry Blain