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Classically Speaking

Classical music in West Virginia and Beyond


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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · April 11, 2011

Over the weekend, my friend Kathy was talking about composer Eric Whitacre. Her daughter had just played some of his music in the All-County Band, and she’s now interested in his Virtual Choir. 

This morning, I started to write her a note with some of my favorite Whitacre links, and I’ve decided to just post it here and send her this link instead. And if you have more suggestions, add them in the comments:)

First, the virtual choir – read about it here. You can also follow the choir on Twitter. Check out their performances of his pieces "Lux Aurumque" and "Sleep":

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'


Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 2.0, 'Sleep'

Totally cool and inspiring. But my favorite version of  “Sleep” doesn’t involve any voices – it’s a mallet ensemble arrangement, performed by the TorQ Percussion Quartet (thanks to percussionist Andrew Flanagan, who is studying at WVU, for sharing this with me).

TorQ Percussion Quartet plays Sleep, by E. Whitacre, arr. D. Morphy, B. Duinker

My two go-to Whitacre albums are Eric Whitacre: The Complete A Capella works 1991-2001 / Brigham Young University Singers, Ronald Staheli, cond. (alas, out of print) and Eric Whitacre Choral Music / Elora Festival Singers, Noel Edison, cond.

You can hear Whitacre speaking about his music with Raymond Bisha in this podcast from Naxos about the Elora Festival Singers recording.

On the sillier side, my friend Robert from music school recently shared a few Whitacre-themed webcomics (isn’t the Internet wonderful some days?)

* Behind the Scenes of the Virtual Choir

* Eric Whitacre Whitafacts

* Pros and Cons of being Eric Whitacre

* A Timeline of Eric Whitacre’s Haircuts

Finally, I'm singing Whitacre's music for the first time. The Charleston Civic Chorus is singing “Water Night” this spring (our concert is May 1st!). It’s challenging to blend all the different parts, but the poetry (by Octavio Paz) and music are so lovely:

"Water Night" Eric Whitacre, Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia

How about you? Anything you think I should be adding to my list of Whitacre links?

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