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Boy-Choirs _Rev 6 - WEB Final09 BRITAIN Choirs - Boy-Choirs _Rev 6-09_

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Boy-Choirs _Rev 6 - WEB Final09 BRITAIN Choirs - Boy-Choirs _Rev 6-09_ Powered By Docstoc
					BRITAIN
Boys’ Choirs: The BROMLEY BOY SINGERS
              CANTATE BOYS’ CHOIR
              LIBERA
              SFX BOYS’ CHOIR
              STEFFANI’S SILVER SONGSTERS

Note: Choirs included in this list are not necessarily all-treble choirs, and may be man-boy choirs. Examples of
all-treble choirs can also be found listed under Cathedral Choirs (in e.g. “Choristers of …” releases), or under
School Choirs.

THE BROMLEY BOY SINGERS

                      THE BROMLEY BOY SINGERS:
                      MUSIC BY BRITTEN, GABRIEL FAURÉ, MICHAEL HURD,
                      MENDELSSOHN, BACH/GOUNOD
                      Compact Disc: 32 Tracks. Playing Time: 61m. Ref: ACTCD
                      200111. Price £ 10.95
                      Those who enjoy the sound of boy trebles singing find that the
                      South London area offers some very successful and highly-
                      trained choirs of young boys, who regularly give public
concerts, are seen on tv and tour abroad. One example is The Bromley Boy
Singers, one of the very few secular concert choirs for boys in Britain, which was
founded in 1977 and celebrated its Silver Jubilee back in 2002,. Offering an
extensive and varied repertoire, which encompasses both classical and popular
material, the boys are particularly well-known for their performances of Benjamin
Britten’s music, and it is his Missa Brevis in D, Op.63 and his Friday Afternoons,
Op.7 that are among the 16 tracks on this CD (including three tracks which feature
treble soloists). The quality of these soloists is immediately apparent from the
opening track of Ave Maria (Bach-Gounod), and later in the four tracks of the Messe
Basse (Gabriel Fauré). The last part of this release includes Michael Hurd’s Nine of
anon, a set of nine songs combining texts with diverse musical settings, which were
specially commissioned by this choir. And, finally, there is O for the wings of a dove,
part of Mendelssohn’s “Hear my prayer”, a work long associated with boys’ voices.
When one attends a recital by this choir, one is immediately struck by their relaxed
yet totally professional approach – and by the fact that some of the “trainee”
members of the choir are only aged 6, or so. All credit, therefore, to the choir’s
former Director, Richard Apsley, who for almost ten years guided this choir to the
enviable position they hold today.


                      BROMLEY BOY SINGERS: SWEET SILVER SONG
                      Compact Disc: 12 tracks. Playing time: 43m 54s
                      Ref: ACTSCD 032983. Price £ 10.25
                      This talented choir of some 35 boys devoted its second CD to
                      showcasing its range of treble repertoire. Although much of the
                      programme is relevant to the Christmas season, the quality of
                      the singing is such that it can be enjoyed at any time of the
year. Besides Harold Darke’s In the bleak midwinter, and Jean Hasse’s What do I
want for Christmas? (specially commissioned by the choir for their December 2002
concert), there are other well-known festive-season compositions such as Mary’s
boy child, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Pie Jesu, and O Holy night. However, the boys
are equally at home with the works by Rutter (For the beauty of the earth and Look
at the world) and with ever-popular songs such as Shenandoah and You’ll never
walk alone. Two of the choir’s best treble soloists, Harry McAleer and Alexander
Stiggear, are featured in three of the tracks, the Pie Jesu by Fauré and the version
by Lloyd Webber (with both soloists), but other songs also include substantial parts
for treble soloists – both In the bleak midwinter and Mary’s boy child rely on the
soloists (a whole panoply of them in the latter case), and in O Holy Night the solo
                            voices merge into lovely duets before the full treble-voice
                            choir joins them. The traditional Sans day carol, in a new
                            arrangement by the choir’s inspired former choral
                            director, Richard Apsley, reaches new heights with its
                            introductory soloists and gentle background piano
                            accompaniment. Not only does this choir present regular
                            concerts throughout the year in the London region, but
                            they have also built up an enviable international
                            reputation, with tours to Malta, The Netherlands and the
                            Provence area of France This second release presents a
                            most enjoyable selection from a very distinguished choir.


Photos show some of the boys at practice and at recital. Bottom picture, right, taken
as soloists worked in the recording studio for the second disc (with, far left,
Alexander Stiggear and, second from left, Harry McAleer).
CANTATE BOYS’ CHOIR
                       CANTATE SINGERS: MUSIC FROM THE MALVERNS
                       Compact Disc: 14 Tracks. Playing time: 58m 9s. Ref: CBC 003. Price £ 7.99
                       The Cantate Singers – later to become the Cantate Boys’ Choir – was a group formed in the 1990s as a means of
                       gathering together some of the best boy vocalists from various choirs in the South-East counties of England.
                       Although not based in any specific cathedral or church, it has the form of a traditional British man/boy choir, but
                       with a wide repertoire since the various members bring to it their particular abilities and musical knowledge. The
                       choir has traditionally sung in various cathedrals during the year, and also performed in an annual concert tour of
Britain and Germany. Many of these events were recorded live in front of the various audiences and form the basis of the choir’s CD
releases. This particular release, of works performed at Malvern Priory, Pershore Abbey and Tewkesbury Abbey, features a choir of 24
trebles and 13 adult male voices. They sing Jesu, joy of man’s desiring (Bach); Magnificat in F – with treble soloist Gary Strutton – and
Nunc dimittis (both by George Dyson); If ye love me (Thomas Tallis); Pie Jesu (Andrew Lloyd-Weber – with Gary Strutton as treble
soloist); together with works by Ernest Bullock, David Evans, Herbert Howells, George Handel, Simon Lole, John Rutter, Ernest Walker,
and others.

                     CANTATE SINGERS: O PRAISE YE THE LORD
                     Compact Disc: 11 Tracks. Playing time: 49m 9s. Ref: CBC 006. Price £ 7.99
                     Recorded live at Tewkesbury Abbey and Leominster Priory, with 21 trebles, 4 altos, 5 tenors and 5 basses, this
                     release includes Sumsion’s Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in G; Oldroyd’s Kyrie, Sanctus and Benedictus; Noble’s
                     Magnificat and Nunc dimittis; and works by Byrd, Parry, Rutter and Wesley. The treble soloist Paul Robertson can
                     be heard in Sumsion’s Nunc dimittis and in Wesley’s Blessed be the God and Father. At the end of the disc there is
                     a brief treble practice session.

                     CANTATE BOYS’ CHOIR: IN PERFECT PEACE
                     Compact Disc: 13 Tracks. Playing time: 60m 45s. Ref: CBC 010. Price £ 7.99
                     In mid-1995 the choir changed its name, and then visited Hereford Cathedral to record this CD, which features
                     composers Howells (Jubilate and Like as the Hart), Stainer (Magnificat and Nunc dimittis), Oldroyd (Mass of the
                     quiet hour – with Jonathan Baker as treble soloist), Byrd (Ave verum), and Bainton (And I saw a new Heaven).
                     There is also a lovely traditional Welsh number, Suo Gan, sung by treble Christian Palmer. And a secret organ
                     “knees-up” long after the service has ended!

                    THE CANTATE BOYS’ CHOIR: RHINELAND TOUR
                    Compact Disc: 13 Tracks. Playing time: 58m 19s. Ref: CBC 013. Price £ 11.25
                    In Summer 1996, this choir of 24 trebles and 15 adult male voices visited the Rhineland area of Germany to give a
                    series of concerts. A selection of the live recordings made in mid-August at St.Peter & Paul, in Bad Hönningen, and
                    at Stiftskirche, in St.Goar, are made available on this release. Included are Bruckner’s solemn Locus iste, Rutter’s
                    Pie Jesu (with treble soloist Peter Vernon), the Agnus Dei and Kyrie from Vierne’s “Missa Solenelle”, Mozart’s Arve
                    verum corpus (in which the trebles excel), and works by Brahms, Farrant, Handel, and Kallinikov.

                     THE CANTATE BOYS’ CHOIR: LO, HE COMES! - MUSIC FOR ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS
                     Compact Disc: 13 Tracks. Playing time: 47m 7s. Ref: CBC 015. Price £ 12.75
                     Tthere is a fine selection of much-loved carols here, with some in new arrangements. The rousing O come, O
                     come, Emmanuel opens the proceedings, to be followed by Jesus Christ the apple tree (treble soloist: Oliver
                     Taylor-Medhurst), Sans day carol, Away in a manger and Once in Royal David’s city (both with Robbie Watson as
                     the treble soloist), Ding dong merrily on high!, and so on. Three carols, Silent night together with O little town of
                     Bethlehem and In the bleak midwinter, are sung by the outstanding treble soloist Gary Strutton.



                     THE CANTATE BOYS’ CHOIR: SING WE MERRILY
                     Compact Disc: 16 Tracks. Playing time: 73m 55s. Ref: CBC 017. Price £ 8.95
                     The choir has travelled widely in recent years, and we have here a selection of the music sung at their recitals at
                     Exeter, Norwich, Peterborough and Windsor, as well as at Bad-Hönningen and Bonn in Germany. Included are the
                     Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in D by Brewer, and another version by Howells St.Paul’s, together with Darke’s
                     Gloria in E, and choral works by Arlen, Bainton, Bairstow, Batten, Joubert, Stainer, Stanford, Walker and Wesley.



                     THE CANTATE BOYS’ CHOIR: PASSIONTIDE
                     Compact Disc: 14 Tracks. Playing time: 60m 5s. Ref: CBC 019. Price £ 8.95
                     The interplay of trebles and adult male voices is always a joy to hear in Bruckner’s Locus iste, the opening track of
                     this compilation. Recorded live in the cathedrals at Chichester, Norwich, Portsmouth and Worcester, at St Alban’s
                     in Holborn, and at Bad-Hönningen and Bonn in Germany, the selection includes Psalm 55 and Psalm 86 (both by
                     Goss), Noble’s Magnificat in B minor, and works by Boyce, Byrd, Crüger, Morley, Ousley, Pratt, and Purcell.


                     THE CANTATE BOYS’ CHOIR: GERMANY 2000
                     Compact Disc: 14 Tracks. Playing time: 57m 2s. Ref: CBC 029. Price £ 8.95
                     In a more recent visit to Germany, the choir visited St.Peter & Paul in Bad-Hönningen, Marktkirche in Neuwied, and
                     St.Maria in Kupvergasse, Cologne. This CD contains live recordings from all three locations, and includes choral
                     works by Bach, Bairstow, Bruckner, Duruflé, Elgar (the Ave verum, with treble soloist James Pedrick -- and the
                     church bells!), Farrant, Goss, Ireland (Ex ore innocentium, with treble soloist Oliver Lincoln), Lotti, Stainer and
                     Wesley (Blessed be the God and Father, with treble soloist Chris Seymour), and organ compositions by Bach,
                     Dubois and Widor.


                     THE CANTATE BOYS’ CHOIR: THE CANTATE BOYS’ CHOIR
                     Compact Disc: 16 Tracks. Playing time: 70m. Ref: CBC 012. Price £ 7.99
                     Issued in 1996, this is a collection of the choir’s best live performances over the preceding four years. However, it
                     also includes material not otherwise available, particularly treble solos and a duet featuring the lovely voice of Gary
                     Strutton, whose recordings are no longer to be found. He is heard as a soloist in Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod) and in
                     I wonder as I wander, and also duets with another treble in the traditional song O men from the fields.
Above: The complete Cantate Choir


LIBERA




                      LIBERA: LIBERA
                      Compact Disc: 12 tracks. Playing time: 49m 17s. Ref: 3984 290 532. Price £ 13.99
                      Under their Director, Robert Prizeman, this choir of young boys developed an evocative and unique sound, where
                      the treble chorus is used almost as a musical instrument, providing background accompaniment, and contrasting
                      with the voices of the individual soloists. When Libera first launched this sound, it was regarded as a very
                      controversial departure from the norm, especially as this was originally a boys’ choir based in a South London
                      church (see picture, above). Thus, for various reasons, their first release was withdrawn before it sold many
copies. However, some years later this new disc appeared and found universal favour, featuring the superb soloists Liam O’Kane (on
five tracks), Alex Baron, Steven Geraghty and Adam Harris. This is a disc where the individual voices can be likened to colours coming
together to create a beautiful picture. Listen not to the words but marvel in the sheer beauty of treble voices, floating ethereally.

                     LIBERA: LUMINOSA
                     Compact Disc: 12 tracks. Playing time: 52m 21s. Ref: 0927 40117-2. Price £ 13.99
                     Audiences have been captivated by the sound of Libera and by their spectacular staging of concerts, and the choir
                     is regularly seen on British television. Although this second release does not feature Liam O’Kane, the four
                     featured treble soloists (Simon Beston, Sam Coates, Ben Crawley and Steven Geraghty) are very impressive. The
                     music is similar to the first release except that it may seem more solemn, as in the Sacris solemnis and the
                     Silencium. The Semele (from Handel’s Where ‘ere you walk) sung by Ben Crawley is absolutely beautiful.



                     LIBERA: FREE
                     Compact Disc: 13 tracks. Playing time: 51m 25s. Ref: 57823. Price £ 13.55
                     After a break of some years Libera released this title, one which many regard as their best. The unique way in
                     which the solo treble voices entwined with each other to create moods, is one of the Libera trademarks, and here
                     the boy soloists (on 11 tracks) again reach ethereal heights. Since the days when soloist Liam O’Kane was the
                     lead treble, Libera has continued to develop their music and their performance art. There are presently 24 boys in
                     the choir, and five soloists are named in the insert, in which all the words to the compositions are also given. This
                    release is also another tour de force for choirmaster Robert Prizeman, who composed the music.
                      LIBERA: VISIONS
                      Compact Disc: 13 tracks. Playing time: 51m 46s Ref: 3 39862 2. Price £ 12.55
                      Ten of the tracks on this release introduce us to the new treble soloists Tom Cully, Conor O’Donnell, Michael
                      Horncastle, Callum Payne, Joseph Sanders-Wilde and James Vereycken. Libera’s music has been variously
                      described as mystical, as shimmering, as unique, but one thing it always proves is that the treble voice is both
                      captivating and magical -- and has absolutely no boundaries. There were two dozen boys aged from 7 to 16 in this
                      choir, and their musical prowess is always breathtaking. One example is an unusual arrangement of Ave Maria,
with Libera offering a version that is extraordinary, visionary, and superb. Most of the tracks are entirely new compositions, each
carefully designed to showcase the talents of the individual soloists, or the harmony achieved by the whole choir together

                      LIBERA: ANGEL VOICES
                      Compact Disc: 15 tracks. Playing time: 58m 47s Ref: 3 70523 2. Price £ 13.65
                      If is a certainty that on every Libera release the listener will be presented with the glorious sound of supremely
                      perfect treble soloists, and every track will offer some new insight into the extraordinary range and expressiveness
                      of a boy’s voice. This release introduces a number of soloists we have not heard before: Anthony Chadney, Ben
                      Crawley, Ed Day, Joshua Madine, Joseph Platt and Christopher Robson are all new since the group’s CD
                      “Visions”, appeared. They join five other soloists whom we have heard before (and the voices of Tom Cully and
Michael Horncastle have surely reached new heights of perfection, especially in Going home, where they duet). This choir has a range
and vocal abilities that always astonish. Sometimes they are majestic (as in Be still my soul), sometimes powerful (as in Salva me),
sometimes plaintive (as in Voca me). This variety is largely due to the musical arrangements created by Robert Prizeman, the musical
director of Libera, whose compositions nurture and support the different voices of the boys, enabling them to create that interweaving
tapestry of treble sound for which the choir has become justly famous.




                      LIBERA: ANGEL VOICES – LIBERA IN CONCERT
                      Compact Disc: 13 tracks. Playing time: 50m 17s. Ref: 03172-2-6. Price £ 14.95
                      This latest release from Libera was recorded in 2007 during the choir’s visit to Leiden, in Holland, nut of the
                      thirteen tracks on this disc, all but one (entitled Lacrymosa) will have been heard by those who have already
                      purchased the last three Libera CDs: “Free” and “Visions” and “Angel Voices”. However, this is a nice compilation
                      of some of the most popular Libera songs.


                               LIBERA: ANGEL VOICES – LIBERA IN CONCERT
                               DVD. Running time: ca. 56m. Ref: 03172-2-6. Price £ 19.50
                               The group’s first DVD – and a marvellous one at that – is not easily found in Britain, and usually has to be
                               imported. Those who have attended the choir’s recitals know that they are incredibly relaxed in front of their
                               audience, and introduce themselves by name, age, etc., so that one immediately empathises with these
                               white-robed boys. They also have absolutely beautiful speaking voices, very noticeable nowadays, when we
                               have become used to illiterate youngsters grunting and swearing at each other, with every phrase including
                               “Like” and “Init”. The camera-work throughout is extremely good, and has a warmth about it, with shots of the
                               whole choir interspersed with intelligent close ups (and no “BBC-type” filming, with the camera examining the
                               ceiling whilst a young soloist is singing!). One has the very strong impression that one is actually at this
                               concert as it is being filmed, and it is doubtful if a better film could be produced of this superb group. The DVD
                               menu allows the concert to be played right through, or for specific songs to be selected. The insert has the
                               names of the soloists in each track, and there are also three bonus tracks that are not on the CD (above):
                               Ave Maria (soloist: Ed Day), and Always with you (soloist: Tom Cully), together with Libera in their own
words, in which each boy in the group introduces himself by name and then they chat in a series of relaxed mini-interviews about what
it’s like to belong to this glorious group and what they want for the future. Absolutely marvellous stuff.

                       LIBERA: NEW DAWN
                       Compact Disc: 14 tracks. Playing time: 54m 43s. Ref: 5 19354-0-5. Price: £ 13.99
                       Those familiar with Libera will once again enjoy the harmony and the sound of soaring treble voices. However, it is
                       the perfection of the solo performers which always sets this choir apart, and the disc is arranged so that almost
                       every track features a solo voice. The general tendency is towards music based on religious compositions, such as
                       Ave Maria and Rest in peace (both featuring Tom Cully), Sancte (Liam Connery), Jerusalem and The lamb (both of
                       which feature Benedict Philipp), and Tallis’s canon and In paradisum (both featuring Edward Day). The lovely tones
                       of Joshua Madine can be heard in Secret, in Love and Mercy and in Never be alone. One of the joys of listening to
Libera is that all of the boys have perfect pronunciation (a fact that is even more obvious when they give live performances). The
accompaniment is piano or orchestral, always gentle and always complimenting these beautiful voices. Another Libera triumph.
                          Above: Libera relaxing – when they are not being ethereal they are just normal boys!

                      LIBERA: ETERNAL – THE BEST OF LIBERA
                      2-CD Set: 32 tracks. Total playing time: 2h 2m 37s. Ref: 2 42696-2-9. Price £ 13.65
                      Those who are new to the Libera sound will probably benefit most from this massive two-disc compilation of the
                      group’s most famous tracks. Although six new songs are listed, some of the others appear to have been re-
                      arranged and/or re-recorded, but anybody who already has Libera’s “Free”, “New Dawn” and “Visions” CD
                      releases will already have heard and enjoyed most of the content of this latest compilation. However, having such
                      a huge selection of songs “under one roof” will appeal to many Libera fans, and others will want the new tracks,
                      one of which (You were there, with beautiful solos by Tom Cully) introduces the first disc. Also new on the first CD
are the evocative Mother of God, a new version of Gaudete (soloist: Liam Connery) and a remix of Sempiterna with gentle background
percussion. Tom Cully is also the soloist in Caccini’s Ave Maria, allowing us to marvel at his absolute control of a truly lovely voice. CD-
2 opens with the delightfully harmonius Orinoco flow, and those entranced by Tom Cully’s voice can hear him as the soloist in both Rest
in peace and May the road rise up. The haunting version of Ave Maria on this disc is a Robert Prizeman composition with Conor
O’Donnell as the soloist, and he is also heard in Recordare. New tracks here are How can I keep from singing? sung by Joshua Madine,
who many consider to have one of the most beautiful treble voices one could ever hope to hear. He is also the soloist, with Liam
Connery in Heaven, another new track. There are other soloists (and mention must be made of Joseph Platt’s golden voice in Stay with
me) and as with other Libera releases, almost every track in this two hours of enjoyment features the sound of a superb treble.

SFX BOYS’ CHOIR

                       THE SFX BOYS’ CHOIR + THE FARM: ALTOGETHER NOW 2004
                       CD-Single: 4 tracks (3 of them music)
                       Playing time (music): 10m 39s. Ref: ENGLCD 2004. Price £ 3.99
                       For those unfamiliar with the SFX choir, the initials stand for St.Francis
                       Xavier, a Catholic college in Liverpool where the 42-boy choir is based.
                       The group had an exciting 2004. First they sung for the Pope and then,
after the college’s Head of Music had a chance meeting with the lead singer of the pop-band
The Farm, they collaborated on the re-working of the band’s 1990 hit for use as the anthem of
the Euro 2004 international football tournament. This single shot to No.5 in the Charts, and
eight of the boys performed their hit live in “Top of the Pops” in June 2004. The choir also
performed the song for a crowd of 43,500 at the England-Iceland match. The fourth track is not
music, but a virtual tour of the new Wembley Stadium; you will need a computer to view this.


STEFFANI’S SILVER SONGSTERS




                     STEFFANI’S SILVER SONGSTERS: THE JUNIOR MALE VOICE CHOIR FROM WALES
                     Compact Disc: 24 tracks. Playing time: 74m 42s. Ref: C100. Price: £ 11.50 On Special Order
                     In the early 1930s, unemployment was rife in parts of Wales, but singing has always been in the Welsh blood, two
                     things in Arturo Steffani’s favour when he decided to form a boys choir which he named the Sixteen Singing
                     Scholars. To begin with, many of the boys, aged 12 to 14, came from Cardiff, but as the group’s fame grew Steffani
                     recruited boys from all over the country. His offered each newcomer a white suit, a guitar and an exciting life on
                     stage, touring Britain. Steffani’s Silver Songsters, as the choir subsequently became known, usually comprised
                     between 20 and 30 trebles, varying as boys left when their voices broke and others joined the troupe. The songs
on this CD give a taste of the professionalism of these young singers, who followed a hectic schedule around the country for more than
ten years, and also visited the Scandinavian countries. World War II made touring more difficult but it was 1947 before the group
disbanded, partly because new post-War regulations demanded that youngsters should concentrate on education during their childhood
years, rather than on making music.

				
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