Whitacre: Cloudburst (CD Review - The Rochester City News, 2006)

For months I've been driving around entranced, listening to Cloudburst, a stunning CD from British choral group Polyphony. All of the songs on the disc are by 30 something American composer Eric Whitacre, who has a way of contracting and expanding chords with carefully crafted dissonance and resolution. Members of Polyphony, directed by Stephen Layton, sing of sleep, love, dreams, passion, and death. "A Boy and a Girl," based on a poem by Octavio Paz, evokes the sight of two lovers on the grass, first stretched out on top of it, then stretched out beneath it. It's Iron and Wine's "Teeth in the Grass," only spun out on a fine, silken thread of unaccompanied voices and exquisite poetry. It leaves me breathless.

I'm not the only one who thinks Cloudburst is amazing. The 2006 Hyperion CD is up for a Grammy for best choral performance. Listen and see if it doesn't leave you suspended, too.

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