Eric Whitacre - Water Night - BBC Music Magazine
01 July 2012BBC Music Magazine
Most Eric Whitacre
CDs are of his widely popular choral music, so it's good that Water Night, this
new collection, include some of the orchestral output. The title track itself
is given in a string version, its idiom a comfortably blended mixture of
Mahler-lite and Barber's Adagio.
In The River Cam the
template is English pastoral (it gestated from a term Whitacre spent at Sidney
Sussex College, Cambridge University).
Vaughn Williams and
Elgar are acknowledged points of
reference, and the mellowly lyrical lines spun for solo cello are freely played
here by Julian Lloyd Webber, for whose 60th birthday the piece was written.
Equus is more upbeat,
chugging along in a style Whitacre calls dynamic 'minimalism' (defined as
'repetitive patterns' which 'don't get boring'). Think Leonard Bernstein
refracted through Philip Glass and John Adams, and you've got it.
Of the choral works, When
David heard, at 17-plus minutes, is by far the biggest, and remains one of
Whitacre's most intensely expressive pieces. It's raptly performed here with
the composer conducting, and is the high point of this particular programme.
Related LinksEric WhitacreLondon Symphony OrchestraWater Night