Something about the month of December seems to be good for creating choristers. I was looking at the birthdays on BCSD and there are a lot of well-known boys who were born during this month.
Aled Jones, Anthony Way, Jean-Baptiste Maunier, Declan, C. J. Porter-Thaw, Bill Goss, Donny Osmond, Aaron Carter, Joseph McManners, and from Libera, Kavana Crossley, Joe Snelling, Liam Connery and Daren Geraghty were all December kids.
When I discovered Libera I had to rush out and get every recording I could find. It was particularly nice to find Angel Voices 3 by the St. Philips Boy’s Choir, a collection of Christmas songs. This period of Libera's recording history gives us some of the very prettiest voices like Liam O'Kane, Darren and Stephen Geraghty, Alex and Chris Baron and Adam Harris. All of them have something special, a confidence and a level of skill that you might not expect from such youthful voices.
This was my first introduction to some of the great English Christmas songs like In the Bleak Mid-Winter, the Holly and the Ivy and Gaudete.
Several of the songs on this CD were new for me, such as Cliff Richard’s Saviour’s Day, a modern classic from 1990 with a wonderful melody.
Apparently, lots of people recorded versions of Walking in the Air, the song that Peter Auty sang for the animated television show, but this is a very good rendition by Liam O'Kane.
An interesting song is In Dulci Jubilo which is the tune to Good Christian Men Rejoice. These original lyrics are thought to have been written around 1328 by Heinrich Seuse.
They added a fun verse, about sun and palm trees in Beverly Hills, to White Christmas that most singers don’t include. Liam O’Kane solos on this one and it always makes me smile.
Classic carols like Away In a Manger, The First Noel and Silent Night are just wonderful. Especially nice is the way O Come All Ye Faithful is done without the usual adult voices that most choirs rely on to give the song more power. It’s maybe even more lovely with just the boy’s singing.
I’ve always loved Do You Hear What I Hear and little twelve year-old Adam Harris solos on this one and he’s really charming.
There are twenty songs on this CD and they are all excellent. I listen to this all year long.