Monday, February 19, 2007

Libera - Stay With Me


Libera Rocks!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Greatest Boy Band in the World

Years ago, I made an arrangement for a small choir that I sang with, coupling the text of There is a Green Hill with the great Thomas Tallis tune that Vaughan Williams used in his famous Fantasia. We performed it at a couple of nursing homes and Sacrament meetings and a dear friend asked to use it in an Episcopal Easter service. Having been composed in the 16th Century, it has a modal, ancient church quality that some Sacrament meeting members objected to and a few comments were made after the service. At the same meeting we also performed something from "Les Mis," and were somewhat nervous about singing a selection from a stage musical in a Sacrament service. Yet the piece members found objectionable was not the Broadway show tune, but the Thomas Tallis composition, which sounded too "Catholic" for the "restored church" congregation. [Oh well.] Tallis was a Catholic until his death in 1585, and he left a legacy that still inspires this Mormon today.

Lately I've been listening (almost non-stop) to the music of Libera, sometimes called "The Greatest Boy Band in the World." Sounding like a cross between a traditional English boy choir and Enya, with doses of Enigma thrown in, the effect is often mesmerizing and inspiring. Like the Tallis piece mentioned above, Latter-day Saints may object to occasional Latin language or portions of the Anglican litergy in Libera's repertory, but there is much here to uplift and inspire. Check them out at their web site. The long history of this remarkable ensemble is related at Wikipedia. Full tracks of the choir's earlier recordings can be streamed here. BTW, Libera does a sublime version of Abide With Me: