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Angel Voices Import

4.8 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, October 31, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Livera's ANGEL VOICES collection includes the best of past tracks combined with some new tracks- the deeply moving "Going Home," employing the melody of Dvorak's's Largo from the NEW WORLD SYMPHONY and the group's ethereal interpretation of "Silent Night" - and reworked tracks as well.

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There's very little to say about this recording of ethereally beautifully singing by the 24 young English lads who make up the group Libera. Enormously popular in Asia, the group is part of a parish choir in South London that has been around for many years, with of course, changes in personnel as voices change. There are a couple of pieces here by well-known composers--Pachelbel, Sibelius, Holst, Dvorak--but to their music have been added words and, of course, it's all been "arranged." Texts, translations from Latin, and arrangements as well as original music are by Robert Prizeman, the choir's director, and some of the numbers are accompanied by quiet synthesizers, organ, and/or drums. There is something new-age about this project and some might find the effect syrupy, while others might long for the "real" thing, that is, boys with this talent singing some Renaissance or later music that is not designed simply as balm for the ears. But for what it is--a perfectly pitched choir with some outstanding solo work as well, singing easy-to-listen to short numbers--this is just lovely. --Robert Levine
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Product Details

  • Performer: Libera
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Audio CD (October 31, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B000IHY9QG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,389 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The wait is over. I received my copy of Libera's latest CD - "Angel Voices" - Nov. 1. This is the third recording they have done on the EMI label. While most of the songs are also on previous Libera CD's, they have been updated with new singers and / or new sounds. I believe that all tracks were recorded specifically for this release. The totally new songs are "Far Away" and "Going Home" (the latter in two versions). A version of "Silent Night" was recorded several years ago when the group went by their earlier name - St. Philip's Boy's Choir - on their "Angel Voices 3" CD. "Salva Me" was done before Libera recorded for EMI.

"Far Away" is one of Libera's newest numbers. They originally performed it as the theme music for a Japanese television production. It has been floating around the internet for several months in various, video versions. Since I had enjoyed it so much on my computer, I was anxious to hear it via CD on my "good" sound system. I was not disappointed. Michael Horncastle does a wonderful job on the solo part. The number is done with beauty and precision. It's one of those melodies that tends to keep running through your mind.

While I like all the numbers on "Angel Voices", the songs that I particularly enjoy are "Far Away" (my favorite) "Be Still My Soul", "We are the Lost", and "Abide with Me". I also appreciate having a traditional Christmas song like "Silent Night" to listen to.

If you are new to the music of Libera, "Angel Voices" is an excellent first experience overview of their music and is highly recommended. The Amazon price is not very expensive for such an excellent recording.
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Format: Audio CD
Inside the liner notes, we learn that we're not supposed to call LIBERA a group of choir boys. Instead they should be considered group of vocalists or a "true boy band." Well I love all sorts of choral music, so considering them choir boys does not diminish their talent in my eyes. Since they sing such beautiful music, I'll be more than happy to consider them vocalists because they are top notch vocalists. As far as "true boy band" is concerned, as soon as I hear boy band I think of pure pop: N'Sync and Backstreet Boys, etc. Not that there's anything wrong with pop music, but Libera combines classical boy choir sounds, has difficult contemporary pieces as well as modern arrangements of traditional choral style music and has a sound that is uniquely its own. While it will have popular appeal, it's hardly pop.

The selections are varied and each is beautifully arranged and the performances are excellent. There are basic hymns such as "Abide With Me," "Be Still My Soul," "Going Home" and the English anthem "I Vow To Thee My Country." These tracks show the pure talent the group has as well as the originality of the arrangements. There are some powerful original tracks by Robert Prizeman. Most are based on religious themes: a Sanctus based on Pachelbel's Canon, an Ave Maria, a Salva Me, and a Recordare. There are some tracks that are so inventive and well performed, I had to listen to them over and over. See if you can listen to "Sanctus," "I Am The Day," or "Voca Me" just once. One track that is included that is beautiful, but a bit out of place is "Silent Night." However, it did make me think, perhaps there could be a Christmas collection in the future. As you can probably guess by now, I'm enthralled with this collection.
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By C. C. Khor on February 14, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is an outstanding album. Most of the songs are very very good. However, two songs deserve special mention:

1. Far away. The best track I have every heard in a more than 10 years. Up-close and personal, with the piano in the background, lead singer's haunting, echoing voice, plus the backup vocalists. The lead singer had a very sincere, poignant timbre, and this resonates with me. The lyrics were full of meaning, and can be applied in both the secular and religious context. And when the tiered chorus comes in, with their angelic, interweaving voices, you'd find it very difficult to stop yourself being blown away. This track alone is worth the entire album.

2. Sanctus. An excellent interpretation of Pachelbel's Canon. Many have performed this before, but Libera's interpretation appeared to trump most of them. The "praise and worship" element is much clearer in this, which may not appeal to secularists. However, the music is very light and surreal. I felt being lifted up.
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Format: Audio CD
The "marksmanship" involved in the creation of this CD is spot on target. You do not have a complete collection of choral music until you own this CD. Flawless, impeccable, perfect, precise, exacting...the best of the best. Buy it. This is music creation at the very apex of recording technology that captures these young voices in a stunningly clear and beautiful manner. The robust orchestration and organ are sensibly down played to allow these intricate harmonies to come through. This is pure genius....brilliant....EMI should be proud of this recording as one of the F1 Ferraris in their classical music catalog... BRAVO!! A 5 minute standing ovation!!!... A job well done!!!
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