Libera
A Boychoir Concert


Introduction

Hi, Iím Chad! A while ago the Webmaster for BPPF asked us if we would like to put together his web concert program for the site. He has known for a long time that Libera is our favorite listening music and knew there is no way we would turn down the offer, so here we are and here it is.

First though, an introduction to who we are. Most people know us as the Crew because we do everything together as a team, and we actually also crew a lot on our relatives' sailboats. Cait is my older sister and is fourteen and a freshman in high school. She wants to be a pediatrician like our Aunt Ashley. Then there is me, Iím eleven and in the sixth grade and I want to be an archaeologist like my Dad. My brothers are Justin and Jaime who are true identical twins, nine, and in the fourth grade. Last is Kari our adopted seven-year-old sister from Korea. She is in the second grade. We accidentally found out about Libera last summer at a neighborhood back-to-school picnic when one of the parents brought the CD "Libera" for everyone to listen to. The Twins were immediately hooked from first listening, then the rest of us, and finally our Dad. Music and acting has been a part of our lives ever since we were really little and we like several different types of music, but recently have really gotten into New Age, Traditional Choir and Boy Choir music. We all play several different instruments, have been in a number of musical stage productions, are in our school and church choirs, and have done several television commercials and a lot of modeling. There is also another person who helped us put this together and thatís Sarah, Caitís best friend. I think sheís shy about having her name show so I wonít say anything about her. We also had help from a special friend who took the time to be our editor for this project and wishes not to be named.

When we first started on this project for BPPF, we wanted to try and select those songs that best represented the evolution of the music from the first album "Sing For Ever" to their most recent CD release, "Luminosa", but "Luminosa" really is so totally different from just about everything else done so far that it is almost in a completely separate class by itself, something totally new and different. Then also, the CD "Libera" is totally different from "Luminosa" and the previous Angel Voices CDs, which are also really different from the first two CDs, "Sing For Ever" and "New Day". We were also supposed to be limited to only four songs from each of the releases, which we sort of ignored a couple of times, and even then there is such a wide mix of songs on each CD such as secular, classical, traditional, popular, and inspirational that each release in itself was something of an evolutionary mix. We finally decided to just simply introduce those selections that we get the most from, and they donít necessarily represent our favorites, of which there are over forty.

Anyway, we hope you like this program and you have to keep in mind that making the selections was really hard for us because so much of Robert Prizemanís and Liberaís music is undeniably awesome, and not being able to include such pieces as Te Lucis, Dies Irae, Ave Maria, Veni Sancte, Close Every Door To Me, One Day and many more was really painful. Youíll just have to buy the CDs to hear them for yourself!

The Crew
Cait, Chad, Justin, Jaime and Kari



Robert Prizeman, director

The Program

Stream ALL selections  M3U | WM

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from "SING FOR EVER" - 1988:
           
1. San Damiano (03:41)     [Lyrics]

Sal Solo
Arr. Robert Prizeman

  M3U WM
 

Soloist Ė Jaymi Bantock

     
           
 

We included this piece because it represents the first time St. Philipís Boysí Choir really became known to the outside world when they recorded with Sal Solo in 1984, a very important step for them and for those of us who have come to appreciate their music.

     
           
2. Footprints (04:04)     [Lyrics]     M3U WM
 

Soloist - Jaymi Bantock

     
           
 

This is a very attractive work taken from a poem by Mary Stevenson who wrote it when she was thirteen. This arrangement was done so well that it doesnít lose any of the meaning or serenity found in the original text. It is really uncomplicated and a good example of the simple, unassuming beginnings of what the choir has since become, and this song is quite enjoyable, very relaxing and has a simple message.

     
           
3. All Through The Night (03:06)     [Lyrics]     M3U WM
 

Soloist Ė Sam Harper

     
           
 

A very well known traditional piece. We think of it as a lullaby and it shows the adaptability of the choir to deal with just about any sort of music and to turn it into a refreshing and peaceful presentation without losing any of its central inspiration. What we really like about this one is the way the adult choir is used to complement and supply a contrast, as the boysí voices seem to dance above the deeper voices.

     
 
from "NEW DAY" - 1990:
           
4. Amazing Grace (03:02)     [Lyrics]

Traditional
Arr. Robert Prizeman

  M3U WM
           
 

Amazing Grace seems to be one of the most popular hymns and it conveys a meaning of courage and motivation for those who take the time to listen to it. We specifically included this song because we really like the way it starts off with the soft voices of the boysí choir, which provides a reassuring and sweet vocal theme through out, but with the addition of more voices the entire piece gains strength as it progresses.

     
           
from "ANGEL VOICES" - 1993: © 1993 MCI
           
5. Pie Jesu (03:31)     [Lyrics]

Andrew Lloyd-Webber
Arr. Robert Prizeman

  M3U WM
 

Soloist - Oliver Putland

     
         
 

Pie Jesu is probably one of the best-known sacred songs and has been performed by countless artists. However, none of them manage to capture the inspiration and clean, unpretentious quality of Oliver Putlandís soft appealing voice in this Robert Prizeman arrangement of Lloyd-Webberís composition. Out of the over one hundred songs released by the choir, this is one that is played very frequently in our home simply for the pure magnificence of the sound.

     
           
6. Be Still For The Presence Of The Lord (03:09)     [Lyrics]

Evans

  M3U WM
           
 

Another inspirational song that achieves excellence through the simple blending of the choirís voices with a weaving instrumental background. We think some of the best earlier songs done by the choir are those that are uncomplicated like this one, and so donít overpower you when listening to them.

     
           
7. Panis Angelicus (03:01)     [Lyrics]

Cesar Franck
Arr. Robert Prizeman

  M3U WM
 

Soloists - Oliver Putland and Daren Geraghty

     
           
 

Panis Angelicus is a popular sacred work that has been done by many, many people. In this case the arrangement by Robert Prizeman is light, very easy to listen to and, by using the soft voices of Oliver Putland and Daren Geraghty, allows the listener to experience a relaxing and meditative atmosphere.

     
           
8. Sailing (03:40)     [Lyrics]

Sutherland

  M3U WM
 

Soloist - Oliver Putland ?

     
           
 

We have heard this popular song performed by many artists and up until we heard it done by Angel Voices, Rod Stewartís version used to be our preferred one. The simple way the soloist and the choir weaves the lyrics along with an ever so slight build up by additional voices to the last solo of ĎTo Be Freeí is supreme and leaves us completely satisfied after listening to it. We think the soloist is Oliver Putland, but have not been able to find anything that confirms this.

     
           
9. Be Still My Soul (02:41)     [Lyrics]

Sibelius, Brothwick and Schlegel

  M3U WM
           
 

We really like this piece primarily because of the astounding mixing of vocals only at the beginning and then the gradual introduction of stringed instruments; but later, when the instrumentation becomes greater, a solo is used to contrast the increasing use of the instruments. As both the vocals increase, so does the presence of the instruments, which makes us feel like we are being lifted up.

     
           
from "ANGEL VOICES 2" - 1996: © 1996 MCI        
           
10. Onward Christian Soldiers (03:29)     [Lyrics]

Sir Arthur Sullivan
Arr. Robert Prizeman

  M3U WM
           
 

We used to be tired of this song because it was way overused and overdone just about everywhere we heard it and everyone tried to use it as a motivational hymn. But then when we heard it on the Angel Voices 2 CD, it was like listening to a brand new tune with the way it started off with just the boys singing and then built up through the addition of the menís chorus to a very powerful ending. I donít think we could ever listen to and enjoy this song again if we heard it by anyone except Angel Voices (Libera).

     
           
11. Evening Falls (03:51)     [Lyrics]

Ryan and Enya

  M3U WM
 

Soloist Ė Daren Geraghty

     
           
 

Enya who made this song really popular is one of our favorite artists and Daren does an extremely good job of capturing the peacefulness of this song just as Enya does. But the reserved power of his voice (which is accented by the flowing chords of the organ) can just about be felt, giving this song an even more moving and peaceful structure than Enya could ever hope to achieve.

     
           
from "ANGEL VOICES 3" - 1997: © 1997 MCI        
           
12. Walking In The Air (04:20)     [Lyrics]

Howard Blake

  M3U WM
 

Soloist Ė Liam OíKane

     
           
 

Even if this is really considered to be a Christmas song, we had to include it for a number of reasons. First because of the haunting innocence of Liamís solo voice as it lifts us through the entire course of the song. Then there is the unassuming accompaniment of the instruments that allow his soft voice to dominate instead of overpowering him. The gentle chords and the weaving solo make one almost feel like they are floating in the air as the song progresses. This is a well-balanced, very simple and easy to listen to piece. And this song, out of all the others done by the Choir from St. Philip's, is the one that the Twins have taken over as their own. They sing it everywhere and anywhere and, for some reason we havenít figured out yet, it really touches them.

     
           
from "LIBERA" - 1999: © 1999 Warner Classics        
           
13. Salva Me (03:30)     [Lyrics]

Robert Prizeman

  M3U WM
 

Soloist Ė Liam O'Kane

     
           
 

WOW! Unbelievable! A masterpiece of combining tradition, choir, inspiration and a new age sound into one of the most wonderful and exciting presentations we have ever heard. Mr. Robert Prizeman is nothing less than a musical genius. Anyone who hasnít listened to this with headphones needs to in order to hear the whispered accompaniment to Liamís solo just before half way.

     
           
14. Sanctus (03:40)     [Lyrics]

Based on Canon by Pachelbel
Arr. Robert Prizeman

  M3U WM
           
 

Pachelbelís Canon is one of our all time favorite classical works and when we first heard it on the Libera CD, Cait got really emotional and told us that this arrangement, as sung by Libera, is going to be the foundation piece for all the music at her wedding, whenever that will be. Sanctus is another undeniable example of the pure musical genius of Robert Prizeman. Our only regret about Sanctus is that it isnít about twenty or thirty minutes longer. If it was then we would know we were in Heaven.

     
           
15. Agnus Dei (02:53)     [Lyrics]

Robert Prizeman

  M3U WM
 

Soloist Ė Liam O'Kane

     
           
 

Inspirational, serene, hauntingly awesome! Again, Liamís voice is just amazing in his solos and, with the gentle accompaniment of the rest of the choir throughout, leaves one almost breathless with the exquisiteness of the composition.

     
           
16. Libera (04:01)     [Lyrics]

Robert Prizeman

  M3U WM
 

Soloist Ė Adam Harris

     
           
 

There can be no question that Adamís voice provides for a very dynamic driving force in this song, and we canít be sure, but we think it is Liamís that can be heard in the duets. It is very easy to see why the title of this piece, Libera meaning ĎSet Me Freeí, was selected for both the name of the set as well as the new name for Angel Voices. Itís a well-constructed and exciting work that seems to completely optimize the innate talents of the boysí voices and the fascinating sounds of the synthesizer, while still somewhat in keeping with a traditional cathedral theme, yet with a new age twist.

     
           
17. Mysterium (04:32)     [Lyrics]

Robert Prizeman

  M3U WM
 

Soloist Ė Adam Harris

     
           
 

From the hymn ďLet All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.Ē Out of all the Robert Prizeman compositions, this one work provides for a journey through oneís own life experiences in an effort to understand what it might be about. The piece emphasizes light and dark, good and evil, and ultimately hope, rescue, and redemption. That is what this work of genius means to us. It is so complex, unlike the simplicity of most of his other pieces, that we sometimes donít want to listen to it and avoid it for weeks at a time because it can be seemingly so dark, but then there are times we canít get enough of it and listen to it over and over again and hear nothing but hope and that everything always turns out right and for the better. This is a thinking personís music, only the more we think about it the more it confuses us and seems to take on even more different meanings.

     
         
18. Lux Aeterna (06:24)     [Lyrics]

Robert Prizeman

  M3U WM
 

Soloist Ė Adam Harris

     
           
 

This is a very powerful yet relaxing composition and is the perfect choice to end the Libera CD as well as our selections. The opening chords and whispered vocal accompaniment suggest a mysterious, turbulent atmosphere or presence, possibly even menacing - but then Adamís solo brings in the light and it seems like even in the worst of times there is hope; soon the adult chorus, the boysí chorus and the instrumentation start blending to show strength and beauty through togetherness toward the middle of the piece. The balance back and forth in the second half between the adult chorus and Adamís solos and the Libera choir is remarkable in that it actually almost sounds as if a musical conversation of mutual respect and support could be taking place between them, like an inter-dependency.

     
 
 

Program notes are Copyright © 2004 by The Crew (Cait, Chad, Justin, Jaime and Kari)

     
 
 

The program notes were written by The Crew especially for this concert and provide an insight into how they (young children) see, hear and feel the music of this unique group of boys known as Libera.

     
   

...Larry Ford, Webmaster

     
 

Webmaster's Note: The recordings "Sing For Ever" and "New Day" are out-of-print and no longer available. They may, however, be available through online shops or local music shops dealing in used recordings. The "Angel Voices", "Angel Voices 2", "Angel Voices 3" and "Libera" recordings are currently in the catalog and are readily available online at Abergavenny Music in Wales. Abergavenny Music provides excellent service worldwide and is recommended by this site for your purchases.

 

For additional information please visit Libera's official website.

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Copyright © 2004 boychoirs.org
This page was last modified on 10 March 2007