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Prom 32, The Arts Desk – Cloudburst

August 14, 2015 at 9:43 am UTC

“The highlight of the afternoon was Whitacre’s breakthrough choral piece Cloudburst, sung here by the combined forces of the BBC Singers and BBC Symphony Chorus and conducted from memory by Whitacre, spotlit in the centre of the stage. Written when he was only 21, it sets a text adapted from Octavio Paz about rain coming to a parched land. The variety of textures, from solo moments to full tutti, were well handled by the large choir and the Spanish pronunciation was very convincing. But the piece is memorable above all for thecoup de theatre at the end, when the singers start clicking their fingers to simulate rainfall, which is then taken up by the audience to create a panoramic soundscape. This is a contemporary choral classic and deserves its reputation.”

The Arts Desk