Eric Whitacre and World’s Best Choirs
Following a Gramophone Magazine juried review to pick the world’s top twenty choirs, American composer Eric Whitacre (pictured) was sought out to evaluate the list and to analyze why so many British choirs appear on it.
Not only did he describe his own history of working with British choirs, but he divided their ideal characteristics into four parts—tuning, sight-reading, tone, and knowledge. And, of course, there’s the influence of the conductor.
Whitacre ended with a brief description of all twenty choirs deemed the best, in reverse order, finishing with number one—the Monteverdi Choir.
For 40 years, Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir have been the voices behind some of the most powerful and perceptive Baroque recordings in the catalogue, not least the hugely ambitious Bach Cantata Pilgrimage of the year 2000, but the choir’s range is also a strength (this past year has found them singing Bizet’s Carmen, Brahms’s A German Requiem and the Monteverdi Vespers among much else, and Weber’s Der Freischütz looms large on the horizon).