Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Libera: A Traditional Boys Choir with Unique Contemporary Style

I have always had a fondness for boys choirs. Not only do I love to see children value their gifts and enjoy expressing them, but I love to hear ordinary people exhibiting extraordinary talents.  Whether it's the Vienna Boys Choir, St. Thomas Choir, or Metropolitan boys choir, there is no denying the beautiful angelic sound that these choirs produce.
One boys choir that I was recently introduced to is Libera. I absolutely adore their works. Many long-time fans of the boychoir tradition may balk at the thought of introducing synths, electronic beats, and extensive remixing into recordings of this nature, but take my advice- the result is nothing short of fabulous. It's a  refreshing, lush, new age sound blended with first-class harmonious choral singing.
From a Christian, Baptist perspective, I find the majority of  their sacred songs to be absolute gems of praise to God. (such as the few I have listed with links below) In addition to many originals, they have a nice selection of hymns such as "Onward Christian Soldiers" and "All Things Bright and Beautiful" that are very familiar and theologically sound. Be warned that there are Catholic titles that may not agree with your theology. Others are based off common Latin texts such as "Agnus Dei", "Lacrimosa", "Sanctus", "Adoramus", etc. 

A few on my "must-check-out" list are:

1. Adoramus
On top of the fact this song gives beautiful praise to God, the vocals are absolutely stunning, and the instrumentation is marvelous.
LISTEN: Adoramus

2. Gloria
"Gloria, in excelsis deo" (aka. Glory to God in the highest) are beautiful words to include in any song. And when you combine that with Saint-Saens majestic Symphony No. 3 "Organ symphony" finale...well, consider yourself  in for a treat.  
LISTEN: Gloria

3. I am the Day
I am the day, soon to be born
I am the light before the morning
I am the night that will be dawn
I am the end and the beginning

I am the Alpha and Omega
The night and day, the first and last

The powerful words speak for themselves. The heavenly vocals, and powerful chords, suspensions, coloratura, polyphony, all weave together to produce a truly breathtaking song.

LISTEN: I Am the Day

4. Time
This one is not sacred. It concerns the subjects of past and future time, memories, and eternity- which can be extraordinarily mysterious and confusing concepts. The music is atmospheric and melancholy, begging deep reflection and focus upon the words. Altogether very beautiful and mysterious.
                       LISTEN: Time

5. Voca Me
Given that "Lacrimosa" means "mournful day", and this song includes the word many times, you can imagine that it reflects that accurately. If you love suspensions, and a whole lot of minor, you will enjoy this one. The ending builds up to a beautiful, sky-high climax, and is completely stunning.



6. You Were There

You were there
In everything I knew
From the moment I began
Always there
In every way I go
Saved me falling
Held my hand

You are shelter from the storm
The shadows fade away
All cares pass away

I absolutely love the words to this song, and the music is gorgeous beyond words. I was blown away the first time I heard it. Such beautiful praise to God.


   LISTEN: You were There

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