Editors’ Notes In contrast with the vocal emphasis of his Decca debut, Light & Gold, Eric Whitacre’s Water Night features both choral and orchestral pieces, presenting a fully rounded picture of the composer’s talents. Both melodic richness and minimalist rigor are captured here, drawing upon deep wells of classical tradition while achieving an emotional directness that’s very contemporary. Whitacre offers new (and likely definitive) versions of his previously recorded “Her Spirit Soars” (a billowing choral piece with a gorgeous ascending line) and “When David Heard” (matching a Biblical passage to a grandly unfolding melody). Premiering on this album are “Oculi Omnium” and “Alleluia,” a pair of choral works that combine angelic grace with earthly tenderness to stunning effect. The symphonic flourishes and galloping rhythm of “Equus” contrast with the luminous sweep of “Water Night” and the pastoral elegance of “The River Cam” (written for cellist Julian Lloyd Weber). Whitacre’s wife, Hila Plitmann, brings both strength and sweetness to her vocal performance in “Goodnight Moon.”

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