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Water Night

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 3 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00753MC92
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,447 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Alleluia
2. Equus
3. Oculi Omnium
4. The River Cam
5. Her Sacred Spirit Soars
6. Water Night
7. Goodnight Moon
8. When David Heard
9. Sleep My Child

Product Description

2012 album from the critically acclaimed composer that spans musical boundaries and an emotional journey of the triumph of the human spirit.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
What an amazing work! The music is superb, and if you have iTunes, you can download some of the video clips that give some background to some of the works (eg. 'Her Sacred Spirit Soars' - a poetic masterpiece in itself). Also, if you go to Eric's website [...] you'll see a range of materials, one of which gives substantial (and substantive) background to his 'Virtual' choirs. Wonderful!
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Format: Audio CD
a friend recommended this to me and she is so right. I Love it! I'm thinking of sending one to a friend. I find the music hard to describe, so I can't help you there but it has me hooked.
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Format: Audio CD
to erratic in musical movement
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e59a078) out of 5 stars 59 reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa304260c) out of 5 stars Thrilling and sublime April 3 2012
By Vanina - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Eric Whitacre is one of the most popular and performed composers of our time. Known for its lush harmonies and complex, tear-inducing clusters of chords, Whitacre's music has touched the hearts of hundreds of thousands throughout the world. He has been credited with setting off a renaissance of choral music, making it more widely popular than it has been in centuries, and bringing it to new audiences who previously had no interest in the genre.

This is Whitacre's second album with his long-term contract label, Decca (a division of Universal). Here, as in "Light and Gold" (Grammy for best choral performance), Whitacre creates rich, moving harmonies with such universal appeal that without much thought I purchased 5 CDs to give out as gifts. While "Light and Gold" is all choral arrangements, in "Water Night" Whitacre expands into orchestral renditions, all recorded with the incomparable London Symphony Orchestra. The CD includes 7 world premiere recordings, featuring luminaries Grace Davidson, Julian Lloyd Webber, and Hila Plitmann.

A few of my favorite tracks:

ALLELUIA, a choral arrangement of his orchestral piece "October," is one-word meditation on praise. To me the best thing about this incredibly heart-opening song is that it sounds like it's sung not in a church, but outdoors. It's a wide, expansive basking in life and everything in it. When I listen to it, I feel it gives me wings.

OCULI OMNIUM ("the eyes of all") The most beautiful murmuring title, and comparing it to the original Gregorian chant, quiet and humble, Whitacre has spat on his hands and raised the thing from the dead. So alive, exultant, and basking... Resplendent. His word-painting of "the eyes of all" is dizzying -- everything murmurs and whirrs and lives. Whitacre gives life to inanimate objects; everything sings and joins together. Grace Davidson soars above the life-sounds. Listening to this song makes me incredibly happy.

HER SACRED SPIRIT is very different from the previous two -- an intimate invocation. This song is, to me, someone standing in front of me and speaking words of love and encouragement straight into my soul. Someone who knows me very well and really believes in me. A very moving piece.

GOODNIGHT MOON is sheer delight. Yes, it's set to the words of the beloved children's book. Hila Plitmann's voice could not possibly be more crystalline and thrilling. (She is Eric's wife, and the idea for the song came from reading the book to their son thousands of times, as so many parents do.)

WHEN DAVID HEARD I can't write about David without tearing up. David has been with me through my hardest moments. I don't know how many times I've been brought back from one hell or another by feeling so seen, heard, and known by listening to this song. The places that are so deep and dark that no human being can go with me, Eric Whitacre goes with me. And it's like he knows just how unexpected, unfair, sudden, or painful the thing was that happened. He is a witness, and there is so much healing in being witnessed. He says this song was absolutely grueling to write and conduct. I believe it, and I'm grateful.

Since Whitacre is so popular, several of these songs have been recorded before by different choirs, as is common in choral music. The real offering here, in the case of songs that avid fans may have heard before, is to have Whitacre himself conduct them, and his professional choir sing them. Whitacre's first album with his Singers, "Light and Gold," won a Grammy for Best Choral Performance in 2011. This is a stellar group of musicians. It's especially thrilling to have him conduct the LSO, one of the finest ensembles in the world -- joined, for The River Cam, by cellist Jullian Lloyd Webber, for whom the piece was written. Whitacre insists that arranging is an artform, "a very personal expression of the material." It's a privilege to hear the music conducted by his own hands. "When David Heard" is a full 5 minutes longer than the BYU Singers version. There are also more tempo variations, and the soprano line is more pronounced, to a wailing / screaming effect. So much happens in the silences between those wails. The most real depiction of grief that I believe music has ever given us. And, best of all, immensely compassionate and healing.

In case you haven't seen his TED talk, it's an absolute must -- incredibly inspirational. Whitacre is also known for his hugely successful Virtual Choir project, which unites singers from 73 countries, singing in their homes, to create a stunning, united audio-visual experience. Besides writing and conducting music, Whitacre is also a gifted orator, lecturer, and "connector of people." Though, for me, the best part is getting lost and emerging with a clearer head and bolder heart after a few rounds of any of his songs. I am so grateful.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e836fcc) out of 5 stars From other spheres April 3 2012
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Eric's second album, WATER NIGHT, features seven world premiere recordings and include performances from his professional choir Eric Whitacre Singers, the London Symphony Orchestra, Julian Lloyd Webber and Hila Plitman and Whitacre's own creation, the Virtual Choir. For those unfamiliar with his concept, the following may be helpful: `Whitacre's Virtual Choir projects were inspired by a video sent to him of a young girl singing one of his choral pieces. He began with a test run of Sleep, then Lux Aurumque in 2009 and then Sleep again in 2010. The video for Lux Aurumque, featuring a virtual choir of 185 voices from 12 countries, was described as a "musical experience that works better than anyone might have expected." It received over a million hits in the first two months of its release. On September 27, 2011, Eric announced on his blog his plans for a "Virtual Choir 3". On December 21, 2011, it was revealed that the piece will be "Water Night", an a cappella piece he wrote in 1995. By the entry close date of February 1, 2012, 3,746 videos had been uploaded by 2,945 people in 73 countries, singing one or more parts of Water Night. On February 25, 2012, the NBC Network's Nightly News television broadcast reported on the Virtual Choir. This heightened awareness of the project in the mainstream.'

In Eric Whitacre's well phrased addendum to this album he states `This time our goal is to expand the idea of our `performance space.' The final film will exist not only as a beautiful online video but also as a powerful audio-visual art exhibit, placed in cities around the world. Visitors to these installations will get the chance to literally walk through our Virtual Choir, a deeply immersive experience using surround sound and panoramic video, tailored for each venue. Imagine someone standing in the middle of the Virtual Choir as we sing the line "if you open your eyes"! We're also using some new technologies to better capture and synchronize your performances and make the whole recording process seamless. Some of this stuff is fairly cutting-edge, especially given the number of singers we are anticipating. Water Night splits into 14 different voice parts, so this time around it's all about raising our game: beautiful singing, advanced technology and building a community from all over the world.'

If all this sounds gimmicky to the reader then the important thing is to listen to the result. This is some of the more sublime music you will hear form a contemporary composer. The tracks being with `Alleluia', a choral work, continues with `Equus' for orchestra (the London Symphony Orchestra), `Oculi Omnium' for chorus, `River Cam' adding cello and orchestra - the soloist is the highly regarded cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, `Her Sacred Spirit Soars' for chorus, the title song `Water Night', Whitacre's setting for `Goodnight Moon' as sung sublimely by his wife - the now world famous soprano HIla Plitmann, `When David Heard' and `Sleep my Child' as performed by the chorus.

What Eric Whitacre brings to music in this album is a sense of solace and peace in addition to the stunningly beautiful choral and orchestral work. He has become an idol, and a creative one at that! Grady Harp, April 12
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ebafe94) out of 5 stars Absolutely Fantastic May 30 2012
By J.D. Lewis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm gonna start off by saying I am a huge fan of Whitacre. His music in general is great, but on this CD it is fantastic. The Eric Whitacre Singers and London Symphony Orchestra perform every nuance of his music. It one thing to hear his music sung by a college choir or played by a high school band, but to hear it conducted by Eric Whitacre and played and sung by the best, it's like heaven to my ears. BUY THIS CD!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ef20648) out of 5 stars Bridging choral and orchestral May 30 2012
By Mathias Pettersson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Eric Whitacre is well known and well renowned for his choral music but probably less known for orchestral works. This album sets out to change that as there are equal parts choral and orchestral music on it. Interestingly the choral pieces have no orchestral element and the orchestral pieces have no choral element. This is a brave move and one that works very well simply because the orchestral music is of the same high quality we are used to hear from Mr. Whitacre's choral music. The album as a narrative is also very well put together.

My absolute favourite of the orchestral pieces, possibly of the album. Thrillride is the best attempt I can make at trying to describe it. Madhouse I've also used. Has to be heard! It's one of those pieces of music that demands you full attention and thoroughly rewards you for it.

Favourite coral piece. So beautiful it hurts. A single word repeated for nine and a half minutes and not a sign of repetetiveness. Genius.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e71f2d0) out of 5 stars Comments April 6 2012
By Benny Wood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
i've listened to it all already =] and it's amazing! Alleluia is most beautiful and i can't help but picture a beautiful fall morning when i hear it. this might be because it's based from your October piece, but still the picture it paints is vivid and wonderful! Oculi Omnium stunning! even my brother who isn't into this kind of music really liked it! He didn't know what dissonance was and he thought the singers voices were edited haha. Water Night for strings is sooooo beautiful. it's a different feel than voices, but no less wonderful. Mrs. Hila Plitmann's voice is amazing as always!

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