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Libera Luminosa

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Album Review

New age neo-classicists Libera established their artistic niche by updating choral pieces with ethereal electronic orchestration and theatrical musical sweeps on their self-titled debut album, and the 2001 release Luminosa continues these themes. In interpreting Handel, Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, and Debussy among others, director and producer Robert Prizeman is working from a base of some of the finest compositions in history, so it is no surprise that the pieces are as moving as they are. The alternately haunting and embracing "Ave Maria," assisted greatly by the almost impossibly angelic vocals of soloist Steven Geraghty, swirls through imagined marble halls, echoing brightly through Prizeman's production, while the title track reverberates with delicate harmonies and intricate harp-based orchestration. While some listeners may trouble themselves by asking exactly which elements are organic and which are synthesized, those who can let slip the reins of analysis and release themselves into the music will be gently swept away.


Formed: 1995 in England

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Libera is a boys vocal group organized by music director Robert Prizeman, drawn from schools in South London. Since the age range of the members is seven to 14, the personnel changes over time. The group has performed background vocals for such international stars as Björk, Elton John, and Luciano Pavarotti, and been heard on the soundtracks to such films as Hannibal and Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. In addition, it has performed on television and on stage in the U.K. and North America, and its...
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