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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); Sam Coates (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Sam Coates (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Mason Neely (Percussion); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Elizabeth May (Cello); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Robert Prizeman (Piano)
  • 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: Ralph Skan (Voice); Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Sam Coates (Programming); Sam Coates (Piano); Elizabeth May (Cello); Anna Stokes (Flute); Mason Neely (Percussion); Robert Prizeman (Piano)
  • 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); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Ben Crawley (Programming); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Sam Coates (Piano); Sam Coates (Programming); Elizabeth May (Cello); 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: Modern
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1910

>Traditional, Christmas : O come, o come, Emmanuel (Veni, veni, Emmanuel), carol
  • Performers: Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Mason Neely (Percussion); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Sam Coates (Programming); Elizabeth May (Cello); Anna Stokes (Flute); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Ben Crawley (Programming); Sam Coates (Piano); Daniel Fontannaz (Voice)
  • 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: Sam Coates (Keyboards); Eoghan McCarthy (Voice); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Anna Stokes (Flute); Mason Neely (Percussion); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Fiona Pears (Violin); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Programming); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Sam Coates (Piano); 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: Fiona Pears (Violin); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Ralph Skan (Voice); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Mason Neely (Percussion); Sam Coates (Programming); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Piano); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Anna Stokes (Flute)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 4 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1851

>Berlin, Irving : Holiday Inn
  • Performers: Fiona Pears (Violin); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Ben Crawley (Programming); Anna Stokes (Flute); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Sam Coates (Piano); Stefan Leadbeater (Voice); Sam Coates (Programming); Elizabeth May (Cello); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Mason Neely (Percussion); Steven Geraghty (Piano); 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: Anna Stokes (Flute); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Elizabeth May (Cello); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Ben Crawley (Programming); Sam Coates (Piano); Sam Coates (Programming); James Mordaunt (Voice); Ralph Skan (Voice); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Mason Neely (Percussion); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Fiona Pears (Violin)
  • 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 (Piano); Anna Stokes (Flute); Sam Coates (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Fiona Pears (Violin); Elizabeth May (Cello); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Sam Coates (Piano); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Mason Neely (Percussion); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Ben Crawley (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Recorder)
  • 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); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Ben Crawley (Programming); Sam Coates (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); James Mordaunt (Voice); Mason Neely (Percussion); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet); 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: Sam Coates (Keyboards); Sam Coates (Piano); Elizabeth May (Cello); Anna Stokes (Flute); Sam Coates (Programming); Mason Neely (Percussion); Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Luke Collins (Voice); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Ben Crawley (Programming); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet)
  • 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: Steven Geraghty (Recorder); Sam Coates (Programming); Ben Crawley (Programming); Robert Prizeman (Keyboards); Sam Coates (Keyboards); Robert Prizeman (Piano); Joshua Madine (Voice); Mason Neely (Percussion); Sam Coates (Piano); Ralph Skan (Voice); Stefan Leadbeater (Voice); Anna Stokes (Flute); Elizabeth May (Cello); Charlotte Ashley (Oboe); Steven Geraghty (Piano); Steven Geraghty (Keyboards); Steven Geraghty (Programming); Fiona Pears (Violin); Steven Geraghty (Clarinet)
  • Conductor: Robert Prizeman
  • Running Time: 3 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1498

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

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

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

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