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The Christmas Album / Libera boy choir

Album Summary

>Handel, George Frideric : Joy to the World (theme by Handel)
>Traditional, Christmas : Still, Still, Still (Stille, stille, stille) (Austrian)
>Leontovych, Mykola : Carol of the Bells
>Traditional, Christmas : O come, o come, Emmanuel (Veni, veni, Emmanuel), carol
>Gauntlett, Henry John : Once in Royal David's City, carol
>Adam, Adolphe : Cantique de Noël, for voice & orchestra ("Minuit, Chrétiens," "O Holy Night")
>Berlin, Irving : Holiday Inn
>Britten, Benjamin : Corpus Christi Carol, for voice or unison chorus & organ
>Traditional, Christmas : In dulci jubilo (Piæ Cantiones)
>Blane, Ralph : Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (for the film Meet Me in St. Louis)
>Edler, Hans : Sing the Story
>Traditional, Christmas : Coventry Carol ("Lully, Lulla, Thou Little Tiny Child") (English)
>Traditional, Christmas : The First Nowell (English)
>Prizeman, Robert : Jubilate
>Traditional, Christmas : While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks (adapted from Handel)
>Joel, Billy : Lullabye "Goodnight, my angel"
Performers Conductor Ensemble
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Composers
Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: The Music Place, London, England (05/2011-07/2011).

For an act famed for their angelic vocals and heart-warming celestial sound, it's a surprise that The Christmas Album is the first-ever festive release from South London boy sopranos Libera. As you'd expect from a group who may regularly change their lineup but who haven't changed their sound in 16 years, its mixture of traditional carols, yuletide standards, and rather randomly, Billy Joel's "Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)," (which along with "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" also appeared on the deluxe edition of 2010's Peace), stick closely to the usual Libera formula of Robert Prizeman's soothing, if often sentimental, minimal arrangements. It's all very pleasant, of course, but apart from a rare tenor vocal courtesy of Josh Madine on "Coventry Carol," and the haunting Gregorian chanting on "Carol of the Bells," there's little here that stands out among the consistently tranquil production, which is sometimes guilty of draining all the seasonal joy out of the source material, while the two uninspiring original compositions ("Jubilate Deo," "Sing the Story") are unlikely to be considered future Christmas classics. However, their soaring harmonies are undoubtedly impressive, and on the likes of "O Holy Night," "Once in Royal David's City," and "Joy to the World," they authentically evoke the atmosphere of a communal midnight mass. Perhaps the most predictable festive album of 2011, The Christmas Album isn't likely to convert any new Libera fans, but it's also equally unlikely to lose any, either. ~ Jon O'Brien



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Works Details

>Handel, George Frideric : Joy to the World (theme by Handel)
  • Performers: Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Mason Neely (Percussion); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Programming); Sam Coates (Piano); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 2 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1742

>Traditional, Christmas : Still, Still, Still (Stille, stille, stille) (Austrian)
  • Performers: Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Piano); Sam Coates (Programming); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Mason Neely (Percussion); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Ralph Skan (Voice)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 3 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1819

>Leontovych, Mykola : Carol of the Bells
  • Performers: Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Programming); Sam Coates (Piano); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Mason Neely (Percussion); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 3 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1910

>Traditional, Christmas : O come, o come, Emmanuel (Veni, veni, Emmanuel), carol
  • Performers: Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Mason Neely (Percussion); Daniel Fontannaz (Voice); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Programming); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Sam Coates (Piano); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 4 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 12th Century

>Gauntlett, Henry John : Once in Royal David's City, carol
  • Performers: Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Mason Neely (Percussion); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Eoghan McCarthy (Voice); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Sam Coates (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Sam Coates (Piano); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 3 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: circa 1850

>Adam, Adolphe : Cantique de Noël, for voice & orchestra ("Minuit, Chrétiens," "O Holy Night")
  • Performers: Robert Prizeman (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Mason Neely (Percussion); Ralph Skan (Voice); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Programming); Sam Coates (Piano); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Fiona Pears (Violin)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 4 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1851

>Berlin, Irving : Holiday Inn
  • Performers: Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Mason Neely (Percussion); Stefan Leadbeater (Voice); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Programming); Sam Coates (Piano); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 3 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1942

>Britten, Benjamin : Corpus Christi Carol, for voice or unison chorus & organ
  • Performers: Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Mason Neely (Percussion); James Mordaunt (Voice); Ralph Skan (Voice); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Piano); Sam Coates (Programming); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Robert Prizeman (Piano)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 3 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1961

>Traditional, Christmas : In dulci jubilo (Piæ Cantiones)
  • Performers: Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Mason Neely (Percussion); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Sam Coates (Piano); Fiona Pears (Violin); Sam Coates (Programming); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Piano)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 3 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: circa 1400

>Blane, Ralph : Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (for the film Meet Me in St. Louis)
  • Performers: Sam Coates (Piano); Sam Coates (Programming); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Mason Neely (Percussion); James Mordaunt (Voice); Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Ralph Skan (Voice); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Hugh Martin (1914 - 2011).
  • Running Time: 3 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: circa 1944

>Edler, Hans : Sing the Story
  • Performers: Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Mason Neely (Percussion); Luke Collins (Voice); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Programming); Sam Coates (Piano); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Robert Prizeman (Piano)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 3 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Vocal

>Traditional, Christmas : Coventry Carol ("Lully, Lulla, Thou Little Tiny Child") (English)
  • Performers: Joshua Madine (Voice); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Mason Neely (Percussion); Stefan Leadbeater (Voice); Ralph Skan (Voice); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Programming); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Sam Coates (Piano); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Recorder)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 3 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1498

>Traditional, Christmas : The First Nowell (English)
  • Performers: Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Piano); Sam Coates (Programming); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Mason Neely (Percussion); Freddie Ingles (Voice)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 3 min. 39 sec.
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: by 1823

>Prizeman, Robert : Jubilate
  • Performers: Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Mason Neely (Percussion); Jakob De Menezes-Wood (Voice); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Programming); Sam Coates (Piano); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Robert Prizeman (Piano)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 4 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Traditional, Christmas : While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks (adapted from Handel)
  • Performers: Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Mason Neely (Percussion); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Cassius O'Connell-White (Voice); Sam Coates (Piano); Sam Coates (Programming); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Recorder)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 2 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1728

>Joel, Billy : Lullabye "Goodnight, my angel"
  • Performers: Robert Prizeman (Piano); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Sam Coates (Piano); Fiona Pears (Violin); Benedict Philipp (Voice); Joshua Madine (Voice); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Mason Neely (Percussion); Jakob De Menezes-Wood (Voice); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Programming); Ben Crawley (Programming)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 3 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary