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Thread: Eric Whitacre

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    Default Eric Whitacre

    No Eric Whitacre thread yet? Really?!?

    Definitely one of the leaders in the classical contemporary movement today. He's now a pop star in the classical community and for good reason. His distinct style, including his highly-dissonant "Whita-chords" has inspired many new composers (myself included).

    Apart from his most popular choral pieces, "Sleep" and "Lux Aurumque," I enjoy "Nox Aurumque" (the sister song to Lux), "When David Heard", a 15-minute epic using 2 verses from the Bible, and "Five Hebrew Love Songs," written to Hebrew poems written by his wife.

    His band pieces certainly have made an impact in the music world, as well, including "October," "Godzilla Eats Las Vegas," and "Ghost Train."

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    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    Our community band performed Godzilla at a concert last Saturday.
    See: The Concert Band Thread

    We have perfromed Ghost Train a few times as well.

    There have been discussions concerning his band music. Check out: The Concert Band Thread
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

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    Senior Member violadude's Avatar
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    There's probably not a thread about him yet because he's not that significant (sorry).

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    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by violadude View Post
    There's probably not a thread about him yet because he's not that significant (sorry).
    Because it is, rather like much pop music, formulaic, set to go down easy (I think nothing cynical on the composer's part, it is what and how he is) and has not made one ripple as to 'a new voice putting forth really new things about music.'

    That is the antithesis of "... being one of the leaders in the classical contemporary movement today."

    He is so predictable in making one kind of sound with one and a half types of harmonic tricks that there is now a common phrase floating about, "Whitachords."

    I congratulate him on his resounding success, am overjoyed anyone can make a full-time living composing, and am not at all engaged, impressed, or interested in the sound he makes.

    A good part of what counts for that resounding success is that he has geared the technical level of much of his music, knowing it is popular and goes down easy, to high school ensembles, where, if popular, choral or band music sells Many Many Copies.

    It comes across to me as a sort of neon pink 'cotton-candy' modernism. And many people adore sweets. Tnis same quality find many people more annoyed with it than anything else -- 0 nutritional value.

    "Pretty is not beautiful." ... and it does not at all necessarily make for greatness.
    Last edited by PetrB; Mar-29-2013 at 08:30.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PetrB View Post
    Because it is, rather like much pop music, formulaic, set to go down easy (I think nothing cynical on the composer's part, it is what and how he is) and has not made one ripple as to 'a new voice putting forth really new things about music.'

    I congratulate him on his resounding success, am overjoyed anyone can make a full-time living composing, and am not at all engaged, impressed, or interested in the sound he makes.

    A good part of what counts for that resounding success is that he has geared the technical level of much of his music, knowing it is popular and goes down easy, to high school ensembles, where, if popular, choral or band music sells Many Many Copies.

    It comes across to me as a sort of neon pink 'cotton-candy' modernism. And many people adore sweets. Tnat same quality find many people more annoyed with it than anything else.

    "Pretty is not beautiful." ... and it does not at all necessarily make for greatness.
    I agree with this assessment. Is it just me though or does he kind of come across as a self-important ***-wipe on occasion? Oh well, plenty of composers were like that, but most had a good reason to be

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    My son last night commented "thank goodness for Eric Whitacre" as he is required to attend performances of a certain number of 20-21st century compositions, and Eric Whitacre is usually being performed SOMEWHERE...
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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    #classicfm

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    Senior Member Romantic Geek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by violadude View Post
    There's probably not a thread about him yet because he's not that significant (sorry).
    Not significant is being ignorant. You don't have to like him, but this is akin to saying that someone like Pavaratti wasn't a significant singer.

    Given that the children today will be defining what new classical music stays and goes, Eric Whitacre stands a damned good chance of being remembered. As formulaic as his music is, people love it.

    (I don't particularly care for Whitacre, just to make it clear...but I do think he is an important 21st-century composer.)
    B.M. Music Theory - University of Connecticut
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    Quote Originally Posted by Romantic Geek View Post
    Not significant is being ignorant. You don't have to like him, but this is akin to saying that someone like Pavaratti wasn't a significant singer.

    Given that the children today will be defining what new classical music stays and goes, Eric Whitacre stands a damned good chance of being remembered. As formulaic as his music is, people love it.

    (I don't particularly care for Whitacre, just to make it clear...but I do think he is an important 21st-century composer.)
    Important in what way?

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    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by violadude View Post
    Important in what way?
    The punters like his stuff, I guess is what that amounts to....

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    I also find his music "bland" (for lack of a better word), but he is is immensely important because 8 out of 10 Choirs world wide sing his works, it is smart, accessible and pretty like the first flower in spring and just the sort of thing that Mrs Average can stand coming to contemporary music!

    /ptr
    Je suis Charlie ~ I am a certified OrgaNut! (F.—I.W.)

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    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptr View Post
    I also find his music "bland" (for lack of a better word), but he is is immensely important because 8 out of 10 Choirs world wide sing his works, it is smart, accessible and pretty like the first flower in spring and just the sort of thing that Mrs Average can stand coming to contemporary music!

    /ptr
    I'll bypass the other contemporary orchestral / choral composers whose works quite fairly also fit that description, high school to college and amateur groups included, and just repeat the mention of Ludovico Eiunaudi, whose music also fits the above description to more than a fair parallel.

    It may sound or actually be horribly elitist, but if the importance of a composer's work is more about its general 'popularity' than its real merits, that is not a good review :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptr View Post
    I also find his music "bland" (for lack of a better word), but he is is immensely important because 8 out of 10 Choirs world wide sing his works, it is smart, accessible and pretty like the first flower in spring and just the sort of thing that Mrs Average can stand coming to contemporary music!

    /ptr
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Adolph_Hasse

    I find this person's music "bland" (for lack of a better word), but he was immensely important because 8 out of 10 opera companies all over Europe peformed his works, it is easy to follow, not too long and and nice like the first rainstorm after a drought and just the sort of thing that Mrs Average can stand as a newbie to opera music!

    Ever heard of him? No? Must be because he was so important.

    (Maybe you have heard of him lol but you get my point haha).

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    Senior Member ptr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by violadude View Post
    (Maybe you have heard of him lol but you get my point haha).
    I absolutely get Your point; I wrote about Hasse in a different thread saying just this (might why You bring him up?), I have no urge to judge, but rather just to relate my experience.

    I believe that diversity is all important but that it have no bearing on what I or anybody like or should like!

    /ptr
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    Senior Member violadude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptr View Post
    I absolutely get Your point; I wrote about Hasse in a different thread saying just this (might why You bring him up?), I have no urge to judge, but rather just to relate my experience.

    I believe that diversity is all important but that it have no bearing on what I or anybody like or should like!

    /ptr
    Oh no, I didn't see that post. I just brought up Hasse because he's the first obscure composer that wrote a **** ton of popular classical music that came to my head.

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