CD Review: BEYOND (Libera)

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by Tony Frankel on March 24, 2019



The all-boy English vocal group Libera has morphed ever since they began in 1995. The approximately 40 members — 35 on this latest album — are between the ages of seven and sixteen, which means between the changes in voices and age, the singers come and go (most have unchanged boy soprano, a.k.a. treble, voices). Yet, thanks to mastermind Robert Prizeman, Libera — as with the San Francisco-based Chanticleer, which has also seen alterations over the years — the glorious sound remarkably remains the same, if not better; indeed, the seven soloists here are impeccable.

Most of the works on Beyond are ones that the group has sung before, but subtle shifts in the reworkings bring out different aspects of the songs — most notably in “Sanctus,” “Ave Maria,” and “Voca Me.” As accomplished as the instrumentalists are (and they are astounding), it’s the boys who are the rock stars here, which makes it a bit odd that the musicians can sometimes override the boys’ overtones. Still, these singers work hard and the timbre of their voices is exquisite and worth hearing over and over. It most definitely hath charms to sooth a savage world.

Libera: Beyond
Robert Prizeman, director and conductor
Invisible Hands Music
11 tracks | 41:22 | released on October 19, 2018
available on Amazon and iTunes

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