Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Talks and reviews about Libera concerts or public appearances

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TullyBascombe
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Re: Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Post by TullyBascombe » 4 years ago

Will they be able to fit all 18 songs on one DVD?

It would be nice if they interviewed the boys at the end like they did on the Leiden DVD, but I think that would be difficult with 31 boys.

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Yorkie
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Re: Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Post by Yorkie » 4 years ago

TullyBascombe wrote:Will they be able to fit all 18 songs on one DVD?

It would be nice if they interviewed the boys at the end like they did on the Leiden DVD, but I think that would be difficult with 31 boys.
Yes, they could fit all of them on one DVD - probably would run to less than 90 mins. Lexi mentioned that it may be a two disc release with a behind the scenes extra......
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maartendas
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Re: Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Post by maartendas » 4 years ago

Yorkie wrote:As Tom hit that soaring top D, his ultra high frequency notes disturbed the slumbering denizens of the cathedral. Down came a family of bats to swoop over the boys & audience! Not a note was missed but the look on Ciaran's face was priceless :-)
Cool :D

I'm looking forward to the DVD, it sounds really promising, but I would rather have had a normal concert DVD with their non-seasonal repertoire. Not that I have anything against a Christmas DVD but I have been hoping for a long time for live footage of all my favourite regular Libera songs.
Oh well, I guess it's bad form to complain when something as nice as this DVD is coming your way ;)
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Re: Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Post by dani » 4 years ago

maartendas wrote:
Yorkie wrote:As Tom hit that soaring top D, his ultra high frequency notes disturbed the slumbering denizens of the cathedral. Down came a family of bats to swoop over the boys & audience! Not a note was missed but the look on Ciaran's face was priceless :-)
Cool :D

I'm looking forward to the DVD, it sounds really promising, but I would rather have had a normal concert DVD with their non-seasonal repertoire. Not that I have anything against a Christmas DVD but I have been hoping for a long time for live footage of all my favourite regular Libera songs.
Oh well, I guess it's bad form to complain when something as nice as this DVD is coming your way ;)

i 100% agree with you but i can see why this is the route taken and like you i will take anything at this stage.


Look at the difference in promo for the last xmas album and Peace?! - they was worlds apart and to sell anything you need to be on tv and promote . With a Christmas album we know they can get on tv as the image sells at that time of the year and woman lap it up and so that is a massive boost in sales which is always needed for them. So this is just a lot more marketable for Libera as a whole and hence another second xmas album and DVD in the last few years.

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Yorkie
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Re: Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Post by Yorkie » 4 years ago

Some of my thoughts on the songs, might be some spoilers in there although I tried not to give too much away.


1) Angels from on High.
This is an interesting one to start with. I must confess the name meant nothing to me and although the “Gloria in Excelsis” chorus appears in other carols, I can’t say I’d ever heard of this one before. Looking for examples on YouTube I can’t find anything that conveys RP’s arrangement even closely. He made full use of the musicians at his disposal. It also seems to be an American standard and isn't covered by the well known English choirs – is that a nod to a particular target audience? Post concert discussions had a number of people highlighting this as a favourite so I’m really desperate to hear it again.

2) What Child is This
I instantly fell in love with this one but nobody else mentioned it funnily enough. Jimmy posted a version with Andrea Bocelli – that is nothing like Robert’s arrangement which was simply fantastic – it started with some nice ooohhhs and aaahhhs and then a lovely first verse by Isaac and a stunning harmony when Jude joined in. I have no idea how long it takes Robert to write the arrangements but from listening to countless versions on YouTube he isn't reproducing something that is already out there he is reinventing it. Although this track isn't a bouncy one like COTB or Exultate, I could see this track getting a lot of airplay on the more classical stations at Christmas.

3) The Wexford Carol
Another of my favourites of the night and again I seemed to be alone on this one. Isaac’s voice is just perfect for this song – pure golden honey. This is not an in your face Christmas Carol it is soft, gentle, soothing. A beautiful Irish style flute solo did the intro (think James Galway) and then featured throughout the song. Isaac off stage did the opening verse alone and then others joined in for the second and then as each verse passed the number of voices built up. This is a lullaby of a Carol. Loved it. The nearest I can find is this one but it was the treble voices featuring, it wasn’t one for the older boys

4) In Dulci Jubilo
Very similar to the album version

5) Away in a Manger
Ben is starting to take a bigger role in the choir – he is always on the list of speakers and delivers his speeches with confidence and a wry smile. What’s his singing like? Glad you asked. He delivers a small solo towards the end of this song and his voice was really perfect and strong.

6) Joy to the World
Similar to the album but greatly improved by removing the electronic trumpet sound effect

7) Once in Royal David’s City
This is a major song for a choir. I mean, it is the start of Christmas for millions of people around the world when they tune in their radio to hear A Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols and the first notes of this song floats to that splendid fan vaulted ceiling above the Chapel of King’s. Eoghan got the privilege for the album recording and nailed it but time waits for no man so two years on the honour falls to Tom. No pressure then. And indeed it was no pressure for Tom who seems to belt out the high notes with as much effort as it takes to recite his two times table.

8 ) Sanctus
I won’t insult you by describing this

9) Danny Boy
Well, well, well. I was rather envious of those people on the Far East tour who got to hear Isaac’s Danny Boy. Of course there is nothing remotely Christmas about it as Michael U-R & Ciaran pointed out in the intro speech to the song but when you’ve got this in your back pocket you would be mad not to use it in Ireland. No brainer. Do you need me to tell you it was good? It wasn’t. It was sensational. Grandma’s will be weeping for years over this one. Isaac didn’t do the whole thing alone this time but he started it off, the whole thing done a capella, with just the natural reverb of the Cathedral which was swathed in emerald green. Brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.

10) Gaudete
I have a bit of nostalgia for the old version with Steven G’s recorder and Sam Coates on the bongo! This one had a violin bit instead. Worked well.

11) Carol of the Bells
More of an Irish twist with a lengthy Celtic style violin intro that melted in to that familiar tingly bell start and then we go in to that song which will be played wall to wall at every Christmas for the next 1000 years. They couldn’t make a DVD without it. We demanded it. We got it.

12) God Rest You Merry Gentlemen
Another Irish/medieval style instrumental to bring us in to this classic which featured a jaunty drum beat. Many people put this down as one of their favourites of the night. Remember the version from the Three Cooks show? This was better. A lot better.

13) O Holy Night
Again the album gives you the idea of what you are getting with this one. Can’t for the life of me remember who did the Ralph part and it might have been a group song (maybe somebody can clarify?).

14) Still Still Still
Another of my favourites on the night. Again the arrangement was similar to the album but the addition of the extra live instruments, the arrangement of the boys on the stage and the lighting just add that little extra to elevate it to that next level. And when the deeper voices joined in…superb.

15) Exultate
This was transformed by a decidedly Irish/Celtic fiddle and drum combo. Perhaps the movements weren’t as sudden as in a normal concert (toned down for tv?) but it did involve the quick step forwards and backwards. Tom delivered the “Light upon a Mountain” bit and off we went until he brought us back to the end when he heard “ a distant music”. Never had this down as a Christmas song though.

16) Silent Night
Heavenly Peace

17) Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
With a very traditional set list I think they need to balance it with something modern and this would make a good ending for the DVD; a farewell from the boys. Ciaran & Michael U-R are picking up more of the workload and if you haven’t had a chance to see them in a concert over the last year you will be impressed by them.

18) Voca Me
Probably won’t make the DVD but we will see it at some point I hope. They launched this at Armagh a year ago to my amazement – I just thought it was too hard to do live. It has featured at every concert since and although I wasn't fortunate enough to hear it on the Spring tour I can say that I have not heard it sung better than last Friday. Do they give out medals for high notes? Tom must have a chest full if they do. The glorious descant as the song builds to that final, heart wrenching crescendo – it seems to suck all the air out of the room and I stop breathing! If I could only ever listen to one Libera song again Voca Me would be it and it would be the version they sang on Friday. No other song Calls to Me like this one.
Last edited by Yorkie on Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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dani
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Re: Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Post by dani » 4 years ago

Thank you for such a in-depth review Yorkie :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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fan_de_LoK
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Re: Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Post by fan_de_LoK » 4 years ago

Thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts :D

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Re: Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Post by dani » 4 years ago

fan_de_LoK wrote:Thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts :D

Where is your review :) ?

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catherine
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Re: Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Post by catherine » 4 years ago

Waaah thank you thank you :D . With all these updates, pictures, reviews and stuff now I really really can't wait for the DVD ..... hehehe

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Re: Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Post by hannah_kirstin » 4 years ago

Brilliant! Thanks Yorkie!
RP is a true genius. I love that man. :)
Wexford Carol is one of my faves, so you're not alone on that. :) Please let it be November already!!!
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Lumi
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Re: Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Post by Lumi » 4 years ago

Yorkie wrote:It also seems to be an American standard and isn't covered by the well known English choirs – is that a nod to a particular target audience?
I think if you look it up with the title "Angels From The Realms Of Glory" instead, you'll find that it has been a part of the Christmas repertoire (although not sure how frequently – recordings from 2008 and 2011 on Youtube) at King's at least since the late Philip Ledger's time there. :)

Thanks a lot for the extensive reviews. I would think there is a good chance of a future release of Voca Me: would they have removed the Christmas tree (I think Lexi mentioned this in her blog post) for it otherwise?

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fan_de_LoK
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Re: Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Post by fan_de_LoK » 4 years ago

dani wrote:Where is your review :) ?
expect none, I'm afraid.
I didn't took any note and my memory is going weak ;)

And by the way Lexi and Yorkie have done a so wonderful job ! :D
Thanks to them :)

Who can remember the full group of 7 who sung Danny Boy ?
Isaac was in the center, I'm almost sure of Matthew J and Lucas on the right side, but I'm not sure for the 4 others.

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Yorkie
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Re: Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Post by Yorkie » 4 years ago

Lumi wrote:
Yorkie wrote:It also seems to be an American standard and isn't covered by the well known English choirs – is that a nod to a particular target audience?
I think if you look it up with the title "Angels From The Realms Of Glory" instead, you'll find that it has been a part of the Christmas repertoire (although not sure how frequently – recordings from 2008 and 2011 on Youtube) at King's at least since the late Philip Ledger's time there. :)

Thanks a lot for the extensive reviews. I would think there is a good chance of a future release of Voca Me: would they have removed the Christmas tree (I think Lexi mentioned this in her blog post) for it otherwise?
Thanks Lumi, glad somebody knows what they're talking about :-) I'll check that out to see if anything sounds similar to RP's arrangements. Using the American name rather than the British one though now makes me more certain than before that this is aimed at an American audience.
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Yorkie
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Re: Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Post by Yorkie » 4 years ago

fan_de_LoK wrote:
dani wrote:Where is your review :) ?
expect none, I'm afraid.
I didn't took any note and my memory is going weak ;)

And by the way Lexi and Yorkie have done a so wonderful job ! :D
Thanks to them :)

Who can remember the full group of 7 who sung Danny Boy ?
Isaac was in the center, I'm almost sure of Matthew J and Lucas on the right side, but I'm not sure for the 4 others.

Thomas & Sam?
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Yorkie
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Re: Free concert of Libera at Armagh : 9 August 2013

Post by Yorkie » 4 years ago

Lumi wrote:
Yorkie wrote:It also seems to be an American standard and isn't covered by the well known English choirs – is that a nod to a particular target audience?
I think if you look it up with the title "Angels From The Realms Of Glory" instead, you'll find that it has been a part of the Christmas repertoire (although not sure how frequently – recordings from 2008 and 2011 on Youtube) at King's at least since the late Philip Ledger's time there. :)
OK, this isn't quite right as their style of singing is a little more artificial than Libera's (these boys are all trained as English cathedral choristers which imparts a certain style to their singing) and RP's arrangement was different but it does gave a flavour:

[BBvideo 425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wVWPtq6aOM[/BBvideo]

Thing is I have this album and it is on my phone!
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