CD "Luminosa"

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filiarheni
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CD "Luminosa"

Post by filiarheni » 2 weeks ago

Obviously, I'm a bit in a review fever. So here is one about the old, but new-to-me album "Luminosa". (To my big surprise, I haven't found an existing thread for it.)

Christmas has enriched me by one further Libera album, much longed for. It was the one with four songs I had all the time denied myself to listen to so that I could delay the moment to have heard all songs as long as ever possible. At some point in the meantime, I "fell over" and listened to Stabat, as I thought, three unknown songs is also alright. Like someone who wants to lose 5 pounds and, seeing that it's just too hard, sets 2 as the new aim ... :P But recently, it became torturing. I finally wanted to know Attendite, Silencium and Luminosa. And Sanctus II, but here I had an idea, while the others were unknown to me in every regard. So I bothered everyone from whom a Christmas gift could be expected that this album was the lonely top of my wish list and this wish utterly essential to be fulfilled. And it was. Christmas's highlight!

Listening for the first time, a few characteristics of the whole album were immediately clear: This is the most ethereal album of all Libera CDs. It is very withdrawn in tone which supports the mystic atmosphere. Well suitable to all this are the fine, crystal clear voices of the two main soloists Ben Crawley and Steven Geraghty. They reach extremely high notes, and particularly Ben's voice is so delicate. When I hear him, I always have the word "filigree" in mind. It almost seems as if the songs and the pitches were tailor-made for these two soloists. Using the very high register is also a feature of this album as well as the overall transparency in the music.


Vespera
I love this song! I find it very beautiful; it is mysterious and, at the same time, somehow conveys a spirit of spring to me. I find something very personal in it. Gregorian intro, then the keyboard begins. Its harmonies together with the vocalise immediately evoke, each and every time, a nebulous childhood memory. Still, I'm not able to grasp what memory it is and why it arises by exactly these sounds. It feels strange, but comfortable, calming. It would be very interesting for me to hear other fans' more objective opinion about this song, because I'd certainly also like it just for its music, but that diffuse memory issue contributes a lot to my enjoyment of the song.

Ave Maria (Vavilov or Caccini)
An "Ave Maria" in aria style. What did I recently say about this song? That, since I know Tom Cully's interpretation, I can't listen to any other anymore? Ok - I can very well listen to Steven's performance, too. I thoroughly enjoy listening to Steven whatever song it is. His voice has such a pure tone. In this Ave Maria there are some high register turns in the melody which he at times manages more flawless than Tom. But nevertheless - Tom stays the number 1 for me with this song, because he expresses so incredibly much with his voice! His interpretation, both gentle and strong, is unchallenged. And I like Tom's singing technique. (By the way, the melodies differ here and there, and as I find both beautiful, this causes a welcome change.)
I listen to Steven's version with full enjoyment, I just love his voice - and I listen to Tom's version, in addition to the enjoyment, in awe, mesmerised.

Lacrymosa
Well ... this is based upon the "Aquarium" theme by Saint-Saëns, and the original is very beautiful and perfectly catches the atmosphere of the underwater world. So there is my well-known difficulty with making a song out of such instrumental music. Lacrymosa just doesn't do much to me. Yet, if asked, I prefer Ben Crawley to Ben Philipp here. The softness of Ben Crawley's voice adds to the mysterious mood of the song which, as I do admit, it still has in this sung version as well.

Sacris Solemnis
That's a song I've never cared much for, see above. But in comparison to the live performances I've seen of it, this recording feels lighter to me, maybe because of the very distinct percussion. Its rhythmics changes the solemnity of the Beethoven original into a more dance-like mood, and I like it. Although I may be wrong: Is the percussion really better audible in the recording than live? I must check that next time I hear it in a concert. Perhaps, I'll have to revise this part of the review then. Now, I can only say that this album enhances my enjoyment of the song.

Attendite
Wow! This beautiful, very charming song was a revelation! :) It contains so much! So much is typically Libera: the Latin/English mix, the vocalises, the way of arranging the voices, the harmonies - in fact, it's indulging in its walk through different keys. The serious wish for forgiveness and peace (the "deep peace" lyrics are part of this song) is contrasted with a light-hearted sound of this song, maybe meaning hope. The Latin parts, adequately set in Gregorian style, are sung by the choir. The English verses are soloed by Ben. Their pentatonic melodics, together with Ben's sweet voice, bring a positive basic attitude. Ben's duet partner sadly is not credited, but can it be Steven?
The music of the verses to me evokes an image of flower buds beginning to bloom ... obviously, I perceive the music as very hopeful. :lol: And also something unique happens: Hearing the "flowing" notes (as well as its further repetitions with other or no words), I pleasantly feel it physically in my spine, like a small support, hard to describe. I feel a lot listening to music, but this is new to me. :D

Attendite is truly enchanting! :D :D


Gaudete
I like the cheerful "Gaudete". The dancing mood is preceded by a dreamy solo introduction that I've always heard being sung very well by Sam C. (here), Liam C., Matthew J., Gabe. My first soloist at it was Liam, I had never heard the song before, and I was blown away by the beauty of both tune and Liam's voice. I am also very fond of Matthew Jansen, who blew me away a second time. :mrgreen:
Listening to the "Luminosa" recording, I prefer the live version from Ireland. The studio one's sound after the introduction is too dry: as if the choir sang it in a room which is too small for this song's power. Adding reverberation would have done good to it. Sam's solo is fine!

Silencium
A wonderful song and I am so glad to have found it! There is a subliminal thrill throughout, created by dissonances, which are delightfully sustained e. g. at 0:18, "lie" (right word to be prolonged that way); the particular harmonic ways; the melody; the instrumentation. Ben's piano and deeper "We wake and whisper a while / But the day gone by" is actually quite creepy. 8) But it's never overdone, it remains pleasant for the ears altogether. During the song the tension rises (from "Very old are the brooks" onwards), and then the voices blend - I love it! - and end in something like a slow trill, very nicely composed.
The contemplative music suits the poetic of the lyrics very well. Ah yes, I have just looked up the words, for the first time paying any attention to them, and seen that they speak about "buds that break" - how funny that I felt exactly this image before with another song of this same album, Attendite.

Where'er you walk from "Semele"
A lovely aria from a Händel oratorio/opera and Ben is the one to sing it! The only one forever? I'd like to hear it live, but Ben set the bar so high that it is very hard to find a successor for him in this very piece. Really stunning performance. Splendid voice, elastic and flexible. Very expressive, gentle, warm, but shining tone. It fascinates me so much that mostly when I listen to it, I feel like a, as we say, "hypnotised rabbit". The choir supports Ben wonderfully with adding the harmonies, gently enfolding his singing. Very enjoyable song, belonging to a totally different genre.

Luminosa
The song uses "Clair de Lune" from the Suite bergamasque by Debussy, Robert's lyrics match the title. The 3rd piece that was unknown to me. For this one, I will need some more time to get used to the Libera version. I find that, due to Debussy's harmonies, it wholly corresponds to Libera. Libera's version is tone colour (image of tone) much more than tune, so very well maintaining the impressionism.
I think what disturbs me is the extremely high register for the solo voices, and although I love Ben's and Steven's voices, here I don't feel really good with that height. It's all sung perfectly (high C!!), but somehow, in this song, it's too much for my ears, and in my opinion it would have been better not to take over the original key, but to choose a lower one.

Stabat
This is the song where I couldn't defeat my curiosity before the CD was mine, and my first listen was: Just awww, this is a dream of a song! How could I keep myself away from it?? (Actually, I heard it while I was supposed to be packing my things for the trip to the Ely concert last April, but I couldn't get up anymore and instead remained sitting there listening ... and listening ... with endless goosebumps. And: The very first note reminded me of Voca Me, and the pitch seemed to be the same ... which proved true, but then it goes on so extremely differently. :wink: )
It still captivates me entirely with its unequaled mood. Gentle melody, gentle harmonies, gentle arrangement, Steven's marvelous solo. I LOVE the song.

As I referred to this Stabat in my "Hope" review, I permit myself to just copy a relevant passage from there, as nothing has changed for me since then:
filiarheni wrote:
<span title="Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:03 pm">7 months ago</span>
I feel Stabat to be a silent, introverted, sympathetic, praying pain (small tone steps make it clear) with a focus on the harmonies, and it seems to me that the pain is more observed and described with sympathy. Somehow, it is obvious that the purpose of the whole situation ultimately was a good one. [...]Stabat - heart-softening; Stabat Mater - heartbreaking. I am at the mercy at both of them. Robert knows extremely well how to handle Stabat Mater words!

Veni Sancte
That's a very nice song, too, beginning in an unusual way by a solo male voice (it's solo, no?). Melodies and voices alternate and smoothly glide from one part to the next and also mingle. My favourite bit is the "Sancte, sancte": There is a special atmosphere here as if the music is dancing freely in space, radiating energy in a noticeable way. - Simon Beston is credited as a soloist, but I don't know him or his voice at all, so maybe someone can tell me where exactly he sings or is the deep male voice him?
The song is quite long compared to others, but it needs the time for its calm, step-by-step development. Very mystic song!

Sanctus II
I've never been a fan of Sanctus (I), probably because the place was already occupied by the Swingle Singers' vocal version, but, surprising enough even for myself, I am gladly prepared to warm to this Sanctus II now. It uses more melodies of the Pachelbel original and thus displays a wider variety. I also find it more delicate than the other one. I'd like to hear it without the drumset, which in my opinion is too "heavy", but I love the congas (I believe it's congas). Fine song.


Concluding my impressions, my favourite songs on this album are (in no order, therefore alphabetic): Attendite, Stabat and Vespera, closely followed by Silencium.

The music of the whole "Luminosa" CD appears to me as very transparent: The voice groups can well be distinguished from each other. The tone is restrained, almost fragile (both meant in an only positive way!), even a song like Sacris Solemnis is light somehow. Musically, it is super-interesting, concerning the harmonies above all, and it contains so much of what I love in Libera. So, this album absolutely matches my taste and I'm sooo happy to have it - I wouldn't have wanted to miss it any longer!

Possibly, it sounds strange to the "older fan staff" that in 2018 I am that enthusiastic about an album from 2001. But it's true: With this album I feel to have struck gold! Except for Lacrymosa, there is not one song I'd skip.
Of course, there is a huge distance not only in time, but also in style between "Luminosa" and the symphonic, highly dynamic "Hope", the contrary somehow, but I would never dare to say that one is objectively better or worse. For me, all Libera CDs can peacefully co-exist, and that's ideal. Big compliment to everybody who has ever been involved in them, as there is a perceptible development from the beginning up to now, but the previous albums in no way have reason to hide away from the newer ones.

Libera - thankfully!!! - preserves their characteristics and at the same time they find access to new musical territories. So, for me the old pieces are not out of date, only different, and simply add to the enormous variety Libera offers us, while, I repeat myself, reliably staying true to themselves.

P.S. At this moment, while I'm formatting this text, I am listening to Steven's Ave Maria and again feel a deep happiness to have found Libera.
"But in the dark and cold of things there always, always something sings"

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filiarheni
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Re: CD "Luminosa"

Post by filiarheni » 2 weeks ago

I forgot to ask the most important question: Older fans, to whom the album is sufficiently known, and newer fans, what's your opinion about "Luminosa"? :?: :)
"But in the dark and cold of things there always, always something sings"

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Re: CD "Luminosa"

Post by Surpinto » 2 weeks ago

Hey filiarheni,

It is so nice to read this review in which you take an album that is old and no longer has the effect it once did on me and write a review with your fresh perspective. Although the album has some great songs on it (including several of my all-time favorites), what I never liked about some of the songs is that they seem a bit too atmospheric for my personal taste. This is precisely why so many enjoy them of course. While I enjoy the ethereal and atmospheric motifs used in Libera’s music, this style has its limits in keeping my interest for very long. With that being said, Ben Crawley's amazing voice shines through on this album in a big way and that is of course one of the biggest highlights.

My favorite songs on the album are Vespera, Sacris Solemnis, Gaudete, Semele, Veni Sancte, and Sanctus II. My all-time favorites from the album are Vespera, Semele, and Sanctus II.

I like the beginning of “Veni Sancte” as you do with the deeper, adult male voices at the beginning setting this song apart in a positive way from the usual.

As for Vespera, Robert Prizeman uses Thomas Tallis’ Te Lucis Ante Terminum as the entry point of the song and does it brilliantly. Tallis’ piece stands quite well on its own but this takes that theme into a new and amazing direction. One of the best Libera songs ever.

Thanks again for writing this review and sharing your impressions with us.

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Re: CD "Luminosa"

Post by TullyBascombe » 2 weeks ago

The album is a fine example of Robert Prizeman's early creative work, a collection of songs primarily from pieces of service crafted into works that were new and unique, especially adapted for the characteristics of his choristers.

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Re: CD "Luminosa"

Post by Yorkie » 1 week ago

I have always preferred the first three albums and 'Luminosa' was my favourite of the first three for the longest time. I probably have it joint with 'Free' at the moment with 'Libera' the tiniest slither behind them.

Such great songs on there but I agree with you on your choice of your four favourite songs from a great album. I think I'm envious that you so recently got to hear it for the first time; are you missing any of the other albums?
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filiarheni
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Re: CD "Luminosa"

Post by filiarheni » 1 week ago

Surpinto wrote:
<span title="Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:54 am">2 weeks ago</span>
With that being said, Ben Crawley's amazing voice shines through on this album in a big way and that is of course one of the biggest highlights.
Your detailed answer is highly appreciated, Surpinto! I agree to your opinion about Ben. I do enjoy having so many beautiful songs gathered here with his exceptional voice and way of singing as well as with Steven. It shines through, and this album shines by their voices. Normally, I like to have a variety of soloists, and that is one criterium why I love "Hope" so much. With its 11 soloists, it has got more soloists than any other album (not counting Best of). Many of them got a chance, and I like that! On the other hand, when there are such splendid soloists, I gladly take a whole album with mostly only two of them - like "Luminosa".

Surpinto wrote:
<span title="Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:54 am">2 weeks ago</span>
As for Vespera, Robert Prizeman uses Thomas Tallis’ Te Lucis Ante Terminum as the entry point of the song and does it brilliantly. Tallis’ piece stands quite well on its own but this takes that theme into a new and amazing direction. One of the best Libera songs ever.
That is very interesting! Thank you so much for letting me (us) know! I didn't know about it before, but such things are important for me.

TullyBascombe wrote:
<span title="Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:23 am">2 weeks ago</span>
The album is a fine example of Robert Prizeman's early creative work, a collection of songs primarily from pieces of service crafted into works that were new and unique, especially adapted for the characteristics of his choristers.
Yes, he knows all his choristers' voices and their abilities through and through, and it can be noticed everywhere in his compositions and arrangements.

Yorkie wrote:
<span title="Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:55 pm">1 week ago</span>
I think I'm envious that you so recently got to hear it for the first time; are you missing any of the other albums?
I comprehend that, because I'm so glad just now with the album. However, everyone of us gets to the point to know it all one day, and isn't it said that, after the first euphoria is gone, the true Libera music love begins and matures? :wink: But I know what you mean, and sometimes I try to evoke the first feelings again by at least imagining that I listen to a song for the very first time.

As to the albums, I own:

The Best of Angel Voices
Libera
Luminosa
Free
Angel Voices - Libera in Concert
New Dawn
Peace
Libera in America
Christmas in Ireland
Libera at Christmas
Hope
"But in the dark and cold of things there always, always something sings"

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filiarheni
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Re: CD "Luminosa"

Post by filiarheni » 1 week ago

One more word about Vespera: Actually, having known it for 1,5 years now (and always liked it), I notice that I am getting hooked on it once more at the moment. Some songs suddenly captivate you anew from time to time or you listen to it from a different angle and that's why it becomes interesting again ... and then it may change to another song etc.

That feels very pleasing.
"But in the dark and cold of things there always, always something sings"

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Re: CD "Luminosa"

Post by Yorkie » 1 week ago

filiarheni wrote:
<span title="Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:32 pm">1 week ago</span>
With that being said, Ben Crawley's amazing voice shines through on this album in a big way and that is of course one of the biggest highlights.

As to the albums, I own:

The Best of Angel Voices
Libera
Luminosa
Free
Angel Voices - Libera in Concert
New Dawn
Peace
Libera in America
Christmas in Ireland
Libera at Christmas
Hope
Missing two then - when are you getting those?
If I’ve got owt to say I says it, and if I’ve got owt to ask I asks it.


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Re: CD "Luminosa"

Post by dani » 1 week ago

This is still by far and away my favorite album.

Steven is my top Libera soloist because of this album.

Vespera, Ave Maria, Silencium, Stabat, Veni Sancte and Sanctus 2 are all wonderfully performed.

Steven had the perfect voice and it’s a shame I wasn’t a fan back then to hear him perform live.

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Re: CD "Luminosa"

Post by filiarheni » 1 week ago

Yorkie wrote:
<span title="Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:29 pm">1 week ago</span>
Missing two then - when are you getting those?
As I can live on "Luminosa" now and the others for quite a while, I can wait. :D I'll postpone the other two to, hm, Christmas? I want to prolongate having and knowing them all as long as I can handle it ... :lol:

And there are the 3 Angel Voices albums as well.
"But in the dark and cold of things there always, always something sings"

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Re: CD "Luminosa"

Post by kinda_k00l » 1 week ago

You triggered my curiosity, Filiarheni, so I went listen to this album (I was planning to have a dig in all of Libera's albums available on Spotify this Tet holiday - a national holiday vacation of Vietnam will take place this Feb, but a little bit too soon won't hurt anyone...) and I simply adore it! *insert heart-shaped eyes emoji* Luminosa is a rather atmospheric album, I like that. And I've mentioned countless times that I love Gregorian chants - this album (with loads of songs that have Gregorian-like parts) scratches right at my itchy places (we have that cool expression in Vietnamese). One more thing I like about this album: the extensive use of the harp! 8)

I paid much attention to the music (both melody & harmony) in my first listen (as I usually do for music), and I did receive many strong impressions created from the songs. Not really surprisingly, many of those are similar to that of Filiarheni, so I guess it won't be lengthy this time. :roll:
filiarheni wrote:
<span title="Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:52 pm">2 weeks ago</span>
This is the most ethereal album of all Libera CDs. It is very withdrawn in tone which supports the mystic atmosphere. Well suitable to all this are the fine, crystal clear voices of the two main soloists Ben Crawley and Steven Geraghty. They reach extremely high notes, and particularly Ben's voice is so delicate. When I hear him, I always have the word "filigree" in mind. It almost seems as if the songs and the pitches were tailor-made for these two soloists. Using the very high register is also a feature of this album as well as the overall transparency in the music.
Yes, I agree. I also think that the high register is the highlight of this album.

Vespera
Instant like. Somehow I feel this song very 'green' - like grass or something (especially at the refrain 'Keep me as the apple of an eye' with the key change). And it feels somewhat nostalgia in both the verses AND refrain. It's like a breeze on a grassland that carries memories from the past within - a mysterious force. The bridge is 'grand' and stuff but I also find it nostalgic.

Ave Maria
I also agree that Tom Cully's the best one of this piece ever sung. However, there are some differences in the melody between the two versions and I like the melody of this one a bit more. I'm surprised at Steven's high notes - his voice doesn't sound harsh at all, which is not something every high-noter of Libera can do. I should dig more into his past solos.

Lacrymosa
I have always liked this one a lot, ever since my first exposure to it (the Leiden version with mini-Ben doing the solo). For this album's version, I don't like Ben Crawley's vibrato at the end of each sentence - it makes me uncomfortable, but I prefer the choir here (harmony parts and high notes sound MUCH clearer) and also the crystal-like instrument in the back that I couldn't really hear in the live version.

Sacris Solemnis
I'm with Filiarheni about the issue about the percussion's volume here being more audible than at lives (actually I think they omitted some on stage). I've developed my enjoyment of this piece, and it was enhanced a lot when I listened to it live in China. I don't find any version noticeably better, so I'll just say that I like this song in overall.

Attendite
The Latin Gregorian part is soooooo soothing, that's like healing music to me. The English part is pentatonic - I have said somewhere here that I don't like pentatonic music, but this is an exception. This piece is so peacefully beautiful that it's hard not to like it (not to mention it's covered by gentle lights from above, okay that's just my imagination, but still.) And strangely, blooming flowers by a stream/river is also what comes to my minds (those flowers are in pink btw!)

Gaudete
I don't like this one very much, I guess because its style is like the music of the tribes/clans (you know what I'm saying). Nonetheless, I love the mystic slow intro and the descant in the last verse. The thing I like about this recording version is probably the distinction between harmony parts is clearer.

Silencium
An atmospheric piece that I really like from beginning to end. It's creepy yet calm at the same time - hauntingly beautiful. And this song is also considered as 'nostalgic' by me as somehow it gives me a clear awareness of the flow of time (it was only a vague feeling at first but the lyrics confirmed it). Certain parts of the song remind me of 'Something Sings', and 'We wake and whisper a while / But the day gone by' is, as said by Filiarheni, pleasantly creepy.

Where'er you walk
Love it (I've always liked this kind of music)!! I find the placing of this song after 'Silencium' is really smart - it helps me get myself together after I've been blown away by the previous song, like a song to relax a bit. But this masterpiece is more than a relaxation song - lovely melody from Ben's lovely voice and lovely traditional-styled harmony from the choir. I got goosebumps at the ultimate high note at the end - Ben does it flawlessly. The orchestration is also brilliant.

Luminosa
'Clair de Lune' by Debussy is one of my top favorite piano pieces ever written. I've listened to it countless time played by piano and harp, but I couldn't ever imagine it being sung, not to mention by Libera. I enjoy it thoroughly, and the harmony of this genre, much to my surprise, fits Libera too well that it even questioned my imagination. In spite of all those things, I'm happy to see that I'm not the only one who thinks this song is too high, even for Libera. All are done beautifully but I can't help but feel somewhat uncomfortable.

Stabat
The opening harmony reminds me of 'Libera', which is not a song I'm super into, but as the song goes on, it captures my attention. It's a gentle and sad song with nice harmony accompaniment. But I feel that, to a certain degree, although it is so miserable, there is grace coming from that sorrow, unlike 'Stabat Mater' which is more depressing. I prefer 'Stabat Mater', but 'Stabat' is also a really (and I mean really) good piece.

Veni Sancte
This song's 'function' in 'Luminosa' (?) is like that of 'Venite Adoremus' in 'Hope', I find. But while I give 'Venite Adoremus' a perfect 10/10, I don't like this song very much. The verse (exclude the part with a solo male voice) brings me the same feeling as Vespera's verse do, but the other parts... I don't know why, but there's something strange about them (it's also kind of important to state that I also find some parts 'nostalgic'). I agree with Filiarheni's "There is a special atmosphere here as if the music is dancing freely in space, radiating energy in a noticeable way" but the "Sancte, Sancte, Spiritu" is the least favorite line of mine.

Sanctus II
I prefer to this one's diversity of melody to the original's, as I've always found the original Sanctus not enough for me. Nevertheless, I prefer the original's orchestration to Sanctus II's - never been a fan of pop-ish rhythms in choral music. If possible, I would love to try mixing the original's orchestration with this one's different parts with different harmony, although I doubt the part *where a group sings the original Pachelbel's canon melody while another group sings "Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabbaoth"* might sound out-of-place without the pop-ish bass and drums.

Overall, "Luminosa" is a unique Libera album, and it brings me many special feelings (the calm atmosphere in both happy and not-so-happy songs, the flow of time, the nostalgia - okay now I think I find almost everything nostalgic) and I enjoy it very very much! That's all of it, for now. :D

[Edit] P/S: Listening to this album kind of makes me sad and a bit disappointed that I haven't had a chance to talk to (and perhaps take a photo with) Steven and Sam back in China - I was afraid that I would bother them. :oops: Hoping for the best next time! :mrgreen:

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Re: CD "Luminosa"

Post by ludwig1874 » 6 days ago

Thank you all for your interesting reviews of the classic CD "Luminosa". I hope you will write also about other older issues of libera (please about "peace"). I own the japanese promotional version of "luminosa" with the bonus-track "Sava me".
My favorite title is "Veni sancte", the male chorus is nice with the voices of the Boys. Very atmospheric and relaxing. Other favorites are "Ave Maria" (perfect!!!!) and "sacris solemis". I like "lacrimosa" too (a title which develops to a favorite over the time), but I prefer the stunning live version of mini-ben in Leiden /NL.
I was a few days before in Osaka (thirt time at 2017!) and as always I visited the "Tower records" Osaka to look, which CDs of libera the shop is offering:"Ave Maria" ("Double-HD-CD Japan only"), both versions of "Hope", "Chrismas in ireland" (EU-Version only) and the first CD "welcome to liberas world" (Japan only). In july I will leave China and I will work in Germany. My libera-collection is so huge, I need a very big box to take them home to Germany. I hope the customs have a good day... :wink: If you want you can follow me on instagram, my name there is "romeus tadeshi". I follow a few of you allready, but I think, you don`t know until yet, that this is me... I would be happy about some new libera-followers... :D :D :D

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Re: CD "Luminosa"

Post by andmar » 4 days ago

Thank you filiarheni for writing your "Luminosa" review for us. Your review made me to come back to the CD, which I've had for a while now, but haven't listened to it recently.

"Luminosa" is quite different in style from the more recent albums. Definitely more ethereal, more mystic, less diverse. I must admit, that many of the songs were quite difficult to listen at first for me. Maybe I'm too impatient and this is a wrong approach to Libera music - as I've learnt in the last months. For instance "Vespera". The song wasn't appealing at all to me at the beginning. But I gave it another and another chance knowing what had happened to my attitude towards "Salve Regina" for instance previously. Again, my perception of that song developed with each subsequent listen and so "Vespera" ended up as one of my highlights of "Luminosa". Isn't it Libera magic again?

I underwent a similar process for most of the songs from the "Luminosa". For some of them I needed more time ("Luminosa", "Stabat", "Veni Sancte") for others just a couple of listenings were enough ("Attendite", "Semele", "Silencium").
The only song which still remains on the not-so-very-liked side is "Lacrymosa". I prefer the original of Saint-Saëns' "Aquarium" and I feel somehow uncomfortable with the vocal version.

"Sanctus II" belongs also to my favourites. I find it more interesting then the ordinary "Sanctus", which can be heard at each and every concert. I think, adding low male voices and using the original Pachebel's tune (which is missing from the other "Sanctus") enriched the song by a way. And I like the drumset.

Resuming, my highlights from the "Luminosa" album are: "Vespera", "Attendite", "Ave Maria" and "Sanctus II" with "Stabat" and "Silencium" just a tiny little bit behind. But honestly, I wouldn't skip any of the songs when listening to the album.

The incredible development in song perception is something which I love so much about Libera music. My favourites list looked pretty much different at the beginning. Moreover, I re-discovered "Luminosa" in the last days after a longer break. It felt like discovering new music, even though I knew the album before.

When comparing the "Luminosa" album with the more recent ones we can definitely notice the evolution of Libera music. It is not only because of the ever changing set of choristers and soloists but first of all because of entering new areas of music. And all this with maintaining the characteristic Libera style. I am glad that Libera music found its way to the point where it is now with more diversity, more soloists, more genres if it can be said so. But I also very much love the older songs.

filiarheni wrote:
<span title="Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:52 pm">2 weeks ago</span>
Of course, there is a huge distance not only in time, but also in style between "Luminosa" and the symphonic, highly dynamic "Hope", the contrary somehow, but I would never dare to say that one is objectively better or worse. For me, all Libera CDs can peacefully co-exist, and that's ideal. Big compliment to everybody who has ever been involved in them, as there is a perceptible development from the beginning up to now, but the previous albums in no way have reason to hide away from the newer ones.
This above is something I cannot agree more.

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