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Christmas As It Should Be
on 5 November 2013
So, the long-awaited CD and DVD of Libera's Christmas concert recorded live at Armagh Cathedral has arrived. And, I am sure, the first question to be asked by those who purchased their Christmas album of two years ago must be "As many of the songs are already featured on the previous CD, is it worth purchasing this album?"
The answer is a resounding "YES!" Quite apart from the handful of songs that do not appear on their earlier offering (more about them later!), there is the unmistakable atmosphere that you experience at a Libera concert. The only thing missing in that respect is the audience reaction, which has either been skilfully edited out or maybe these CD tracks were recorded separately without the audience in attendance. Either way, it makes no difference. This is 'Live' Libera at its best and if you do wish to hear the applause, I would urge you to purchase the DVD as well, as I have.
All the tracks have a distinctly Irish feel, largely due to the additional instrumentation such as the Irish flute and violin. And while we're on the subject of Irish music, listen particularly to Track 7: "Danny Boy" sung completely unaccompanied with ten-year-old Isaac London taking the solo. This track alone is worth the price of this amazing CD. There is also a version of "Gaudete", a Libera favourite from way back. The final track is "What Child Is This" sung to the tune of Greensleeves: absolutely superb.
This amazing CD is, then, a welcome antidote to the overblown commercialism of the modern Christmas. It is what Christmas used to be like...it is Christmas as it should be!