Libera - celestial music from South London to Yankee Stadium and the world
The boys began to create the "shimmering, mystical sounds" of their music in a parish church in South London on Sundays and feast days, singing in their spare time on weekends and evenings under the direction of Robert Prizeman. They did not think of themselves as a choir but as a boy band.
When they wore white pullovers, it was so their audience could focus on their music - "sounds to lift the soul" - rather than their grubby jeans and t-shirts.
They had only a shoestring budget, but their celestial music began to travel. Aged seven to sixteen, they sang the haunting soundtrack to Merchant Of Venice, and provided backing to Pavarotti, Elton John, and Bjork. Represented by EMI, their albums topped mainstream and classical charts. New Dawn is their sixth international CD.
This month Libera is again touring America. They will sing at Riverside Church, New York, on Sunday morning, April 13, and on Thursday evening, April 17, at 7:30 pm. On April 20 they go to Yankee Stadium to sing before Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass. Schedule and tickets here.
Steven Philipp, a 'choir dad' who is father of one of the boys, wrote us that "In their newest CD, one of the old boys has written a piece called 'Never Alone'. It is sublime. . .Other 'old boys' are involved in helping with the sound, and the lighting. . . " The idea of a community of boys teaching and helping each other sounds sublime to me. Judging by the video (see below), it's also filled with laughter.
Director Robert Prizeman who prefers to remain, "if not anonymous, at least very much in the background", composes or arranges many of the compositions, weaving together Gregorian chant and echoes of Debussy, Pachelbel and English Choral Music, which has a centuries-old tradition of featuring boys' soprano voices.
The video (click here, then on Video link) conveys their boyish charm and the beauty of their music - Sancta, Vespera, Going Home, I vow to thee my country. . .