Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

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filiarheni
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Re: Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

Post by filiarheni » 8 months ago

Mine was Angele Dei. Marvellous song, very well performed yesterday and a just wonderful solo by Rocco! :D
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Re: Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

Post by dani » 8 months ago

I would still say Angele Dei as it's stunning :)

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Re: Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

Post by fan_de_LoK » 8 months ago

+1 for Angele Dei
The song is really pleasant.
It has a modern tune, lot for hamonies and different levels to hear it.
It requires a great soloist and the 12 around him that keep repeating 'Lumina Guberna Angele' are very important too.

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Re: Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

Post by gingerthedog1 » 8 months ago

For all those who saw the concert, what were Rocco and Gabriel's voices like? I've never heard them sing, but they must have been great.

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paul
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Re: Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

Post by paul » 8 months ago

I hope everyone had a wonderful time at the concert. Looking forward to reading some reviews.
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Yorkie
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Re: Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

Post by Yorkie » 8 months ago

The boys at the concert were:

Marc Alveres
Leo Barron
Nathaniel Bates Fisher
Emanuele Borrelli
Merlin Brouwer
Benedict Bywater
Cassius Collard
Gabriel Collins
Samuel-Francis Collins
Joseph Cranitch
Tadhg Fitzgerald
Alexander Gula
Adam Izghouti
Luke Jelly
Peter Kielty
Isaac London
Gregor Lumsden
Alessandro Mackinnon-Botgi
James Menezes
Alexandre Menuet
Alexander Montoro
Mathias Montoro
Oliver Mycka
Arthur Palmer
Neo Parson
Koji Shinokubo
Taichi Shinokubo
Camden Stewart
Laurence Taylor
Rocco Tesei
Romeo Tesei
Oliver Watt-Rodriguez
Victor Wiggin
Theo Wood
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ludwig1874
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Re: Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

Post by ludwig1874 » 8 months ago

Thanks Yorkie!!!

I would be happy, if I could see some photos of the concert!

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Re: Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

Post by dani » 8 months ago

gingerthedog1 wrote:
<span title="Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:43 pm">8 months ago</span>
For all those who saw the concert, what were Rocco and Gabriel's voices like? I've never heard them sing, but they must have been great.
I think the boys did well and both had nice tones.

It must be hard to keep the same level up because in the last year or so they have lost all the main soloists we have come to expect over the last few years.

The average age is noticeable younger again but it was a enjoyable show and the boys will only get better.

Not as many lights or special effects this time. If I am remembering correctly the lights were only in the second half.




ETA - Rocco was Excellent on amazing grace and it really suited his voice

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maartendas
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Re: Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

Post by maartendas » 8 months ago

Here are my impressions of this wonderful concert experience.
First of all the morning and the afternoon. Wandering around the cathedral while the lights and instruments were being set up. Looking in awe at all the stained glass windows, paintings and carvings. Taking pictures of angels singing – and thinking of Libera. Hearing the instrumental background to From A Distance for the first time while face to face with gorgeous windows at the Stained Glass Museum in the cathedral's gallery.
Watching the boys arrive at the cathedral grounds and seeing many new faces.
Then at the rehearsal when they sang From A Distance I was instantly moved to tears. The message of the song and the powerful melody immediately got to me. Those young boys singing about a vision of peace and justice at the difficult times the world is in. It was both comforting and thought-provoking.

The concert itself went by way too quickly. There were so many highlights it was hard to pick just one but afterwards my memories went mostly back to Angel, the song I had hoped to hear again. Just as in Vallendar the solo was sung by Camden and he did it beautifully. He has a soft tone in his voice which gives it a very special silvery shine and when he sings he is so focused he easily took me in. As the song builds up and the choir enters the intensity grew, and when they reached the chorus it was nothing short of heavenly for me.
I say this mostly because I often experience Libera songs as prayers. Libera has always been a part of my personal journey of faith so I cannot separate it from that. Angel was no exception. Ofcourse the wonderful harmonies and the intensity of the soloist help to achieve such a sensation but I can never tell for sure afterwards how it sounded musically. My highlights at a Libera concert are always the songs that spoke to my feelings the most, not necessarily the songs that were the perfect musical achievement. With Angel, I simply did not want the experience to end and I was grateful for the slow and gentle way in which the song draws to a close.
A similar experience I have with Gregor. His silky voice and serious interpretation greatly add to the effect the song (What a Wonderful World) has on me – and it's already an absolute favourite of mine. When the choir joined it felt like they were really singing this together - even though Gregor had a solo, the group as a whole was conveying the message of the song. Still, when Gregor finished the song on his own I was moved (as with some other boys with solo parts) to realise that there he was, in that magnificent old building, among all those people and lights, singing so beautifully and just his voice filling up that entire space. Those were moving moments.

An instant favourite among the new songs was I'm Dreaming of Home. As with From A Distance, it immediately struck a chord with me. Even though it was the first time I heard it, it felt familiar. It's a longing for a home, which everyone can interpret in their own way. It's a universal theme and the images in the lyrics portray that very well and the melody really evokes that sense of longing, I felt.

Actually, all the new songs they sang left a great impression. Angele Dei was perfect for the location of Ely Cathedral. It was as if I could hear the gothic architecture, its curves and angles, in the chords and the melody. And Rocco sang his solo with the precision of a stained glass artist. As another prayer to an angel, it suited the location perfectly.
Even Smile, which has caused different opinions, was great in this concert as it gave us the treat to hear Alessandro in a supporting solo part. He has such a sensitive tone to his voice and his supporting solo really gave this charming song a golden shine.

Speaking of soloists, I was very pleased to see and hear Gabriel Collins take up Far away. I still remember him at the concert in Vallendar, standing on the side of the stage during Salve Me, singing the high Salva's in the dark. Now he was a soloist in the limelight, centre stage with his strong and clear voice, making the song his own. A wonderful achievement. On a side note, I was pleasantly surprised to see this song make it back to the setlist and the same goes for Sempiterna, which I really like but was not expecting at all.
A joy to watch was also Merlin, who sings with great confidence and a beaming smile, as in Exsultate. He has a lovely, pleasant voice which has no problems flying into the sky.

Last but not least Alex Gula deserves special mention for his take on the ever impressive Wayfaring stranger. A sense of drama is in his voice and he gave a powerful interpretation. Here the lights helped to create a breathtaking atmosphere, as gradually more parts of the church were lit up, as a symbolic image of the journey the song sings about.

A general impression of the concert was the wonderful overall sound. For me, this was the first Libera concert where the choir sounded so light and so much as a whole. No one voice or group went over the other, the dynamics were there and the instruments blended wonderfully as well. Special mention deserve the flute at the opening of San Damiano, the percussionist (especially in Libera), the horn in Amazing Grace and the strings in Sacris solemnis. The new opening of Dies irae, which builds up slowly in tension, works really well - and the joining of that song to Joyful, joyful is a surprising contrast.

After the concert, I was in a daze for quite a while but gradually managed to share my experiences with some of the fans. As we were chatting, four mini-boys appeared handing out flyers for the new album. I thanked them for the concert and said I came from the Netherlands to hear them, to which one of them (I don't know the names of the new boys...) raised his eyebrows in surprise. James was also there and he was eyeing me up and down with a look I regularly get for being so tall (well, I'm Dutch, so no wonder :)). I mentioned this to him and he nodded and laughed. I added that there aren't many tall boys left in the choir and he laughed and nodded again. By then they were called back again and the short interaction with the fans was over.
Although, for me not quite. After talking some more with filiarheni, we, along with fan_de_LoK were almost the last people in the cathedral and were kindly but firmly asked to leave. Just at that moment Camden was leaving with his family as well and he and I stepped through the door at the same time. So I was able to compliment him on his solo. I asked him how it was for him to sing that and he said: 'It was fun!' :) He was grateful for the appreciation and thanked me for coming to the concert. I am glad I could share that with him.

Just as I was happy to get my host in Ely and his family interested in Libera. They had listened to them on Youtube and found the music very calming. My host told me he would like to know more about them and purchase the new album and then work his way through the back catalogue :)

The day after the concert (with the tune of From A Distance going through my head) I visited a friend in London and in the later afternoon I went back home again. As I left St. Pancras station, looking out of the window of the train I saw written on a wall, with huge white letters, the word: HOPE. A fitting souvenir to an impressive weekend.
Cantate caeli chorus angelorum

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Surpinto
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Re: Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

Post by Surpinto » 8 months ago

Thank you for you review, Maartendas! I enjoyed reading it. :D This concert clearly moved you quite a bit.

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Re: Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

Post by Yorkie » 8 months ago

Ok, after a busy weekend I’ve finally found a few minutes to put down some thoughts about Saturdays concert whilst sat in my hotel room drinking red wine from a coffee mug. Yes, I’m that classy! A somewhat short set list at only 18 songs; I was convinced that Andy Winter was pulling my leg when he said that it was the full programme with no hidden songs when I saw the programme before the concert started. Having said that it is a long journey back home for most of the boys (although only 5 on the bus I’m told, the rest travelling back with family)

For the first time in quite a while the audience (as is appropriate at a concert) applauded Robert as he took his seat before the start. There was also applause at the start of the second half and RP gave a smile and a bow which was lovely to see. As at St George’s last year his music score was again on an iPad. The usual message was played about filming and photography and I think it was the version done by Alessandro (although as we were to hear later in the speeches, his voice is now considerably deeper)
The first song was San Damiano. The regular (and excellent) flautist, Elmer McGeowan, appeared alone on stage to play a very nice introduction and the boys entered the stage from each side. Next up was Sanctus and I noticed that Isaac and Alessandro both left the stage. At the end of San D I noticed Taichi was putting his hand to his ear and he was obviously having a few technical issues with his earpiece. Kavana came on stage to guide Taichi to the side and help him sort it out. On Sanctus Adam provide the excellent top notes and Merlin supplied the final ‘Sanctus’ finish.

Next up was a Speech by Peter and AIex G.They told us that Koji and Cassius were the youngest boys singing aged 8 and that they had never performed in Ely before and the first mention of the new album. 'I’m dreaming of home' is a terrific song. I first heard it in Guildford in 2013 with TDL dazzling with the crystal clarity of his piercing top notes, and in this song they are high. When the album track list was announced I was very happy to see this included. Camden took over the TDL part and he was really good. Second track of the night from the new album (as in not previously recorded by an incarnation of Libera/AV/SPBC) was 'From a distance'. I have to confess I didn’t consider this a Libera worthy track when I first heard of its inclusion on the new album. I can see the attraction of the lyrics to Libera but it is a smooth listening kind of middle of the road song. After hearing it in rehearsal and again in the concert it is growing on me, not least because of Merlin’s fantastic delivery. I really like his voice.

'Angele Dei' was well received at the last concert and I see it was many peoples preferred track on Saturday too. But 4 months is a long time in the life of a boys choir and so Alex M has moved to the back row. Looking forward to his album version but such change brings new opportunity and boy did Rocco grab it with both hands. What a night the boy had. Fantastic. All the boys grouped around him in two semi-circles clasping their hands in front of them. The lighting for this was a lovely shade of blue. Next we had a speech from little Alex and Victor about where the boys live and the robes they wear (with a hood demo)

The original 'Far Away' by Michael H brought me to Libera. I’ve heard it sung by a few boys since and Gabe did it as well as any in my opinion. Nice to hear it again after so long. Another classic of the Libera back catalogue was 'Sacris Solemnis'. We had a bit of stage movement in this one with the boys starting in two lines and then blending in to one single arc to finish. There is a beautiful high counter melody on this song and I certainly saw Taichi and I think Adam, Rocco and Leo singing it. Rocco supplied the final Gaudia to the song. Liked it a lot. 'Wonderful World' by Gregor is a song that he does really well and again it is a version I like although it is hard for me not watch Isaac whilst he sings it. I can tell you that Isaac gives nothing away. Nice red lighting on this song.

Another speech and Gregor tells us about all the different harmony parts (seven) and Leo told us about memorising the music and practising stage positions blindfolded. To end the first half we had 'Libera' with Alex G and Rocco singing the ‘are you the door are you the key’ parts. I saw (I think) Rocco doing the really high finish and Patrick says Adam also sang that part but I confess I didn’t spot him.
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Re: Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

Post by Yorkie » 8 months ago

At the start of the second half Kav brought Moose to the stage. During the first half the normal white lights had remained on over the audience, lessening the impact of the lighting (which definitely was there in the first act) I suspect it meant the boys saw far more of the audience than was good for them (mentioning no names John) – it must have been distracting for the poor guys! Anyway, in this half the lights were properly dimmed which made writing (and now reading) my notes difficult.

'Dies Irae' started the second half with Josh’s piano and the strings doing an intro while the boys returned to stage. Really beautiful lighting starting from deep red and then changing to a glowing white. DI flowed directly in to 'Joyful Joyful' with no break. At the end of JJ the boys were positioned in small groups facing in towards each other. As the last verse started they all turned sharply towards the audience. Time for another speech now from Alessandro about JJ being based on a tune by Beethoven and being the anthem of the EU (I like to imagine that is RP sticking it to the deluded Brexit voters!) and how they went to Germany and Poland singing in front of over a million people. Tadhg then introduced the real star of the show...Moose!

'Angel' next and Camden delivered on another big solo. Following 'Angel' was 'Salva Me' which started and finished with all heads bowed. Taichi delivered excellent Salvas with plenty of attack and clarity and they had the raising and lowering hand movements. For 'Amazing Grace' they formed two semi-circles with the inside one kneeling. This was lit with deep red lighting and Rocco, who was outstanding all night, gave a great solo on this one. Next it was the languages speech introduced by Peter. We had Alex G, the mini boys Francais (Victor and Alexandre who started off in the wrong spot and had to move to the low mics), Theo, Oliver W-R, Tadhg, Alex M, Taichi and Koji.

'Sempiterna' had a group of four boys at the front – Gabe, Adam,Taichi & Ben with Gabe hitting the high parts. Very nicely done and Gabe is certainly one of the main performers now and rightly so. Good song. 'Wayfaring Stranger' was hampered by the small stage. They tried the ‘v’ shape with Alex G at the back walking forward but it didn’t really work and the sizing of the boys in the line was a little off as if somebody was in the wrong place. Still, the vocals were great and Alex has really taken to this song. He has an excellent voice and technique. Always a favourite.

Gabriel has the solo on Smile and he really shines on it. What stands out for me on this song is the duet he performs with Alessandro’s deeper voice which is sublime and really conveys the essence of what Liberal is about; harmonies. My one criticism of the performance is not vocal. It is the lack of smiles from the boys (not all but most) RP tried to get them smiling with lots of little tricks but it didn't transfer. As a rule it doesn't bother me (I know some people have said they don't look to be enjoying themselves at previous concerts but I think that given all they need to remember it is perfectly understandable that they are concentrating on what they are doing; I don't need fake plastic smiles, just good singing) but having said all that on a song called 'Smile' well...

Tadhg then introduced the final song, my nemesis, Exultate. I know I’m in a minority of one on this and it is certainly not the fault of Merlin who did the solo (or TDL before him) Merlin started alone out front and then walked backwards in to the group for the finish. They didn’t do the sharp backwards and forwards steps they sometimes do on this song. My main enjoyment of this song is watching the flirting between Jon on drum and Elmer on flute who come to the front of the stage while the boys sing.

The end brought a standing ovation where people rose to their feet in ones and twos until the whole audience stood as one. The reprise was a shortened Libera followed by another standing ovation. Cute overload was provided by Romeo and Cassius who, during the final applause, came to the front of the stage and gestured left and right with a sweeping arm and broad grins to acknowledge the musicians who were positioned at the side of the stage.
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fan_de_LoK
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Re: Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

Post by fan_de_LoK » 8 months ago

Thank you for the brilliant reviews Yorkie and maartendas :D

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alcesalcesobservator
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Re: Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

Post by alcesalcesobservator » 8 months ago

Such lovely, well written reviews, everyone! You've all done such a great job of remembering the interesting details.

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Surpinto
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Re: Ely Cathedral 29th April 2017

Post by Surpinto » 8 months ago

Thanks, Yorkie. The details you provide really help to bring this concert to life. I enjoyed reading that.

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