Angel Voices by London Youth Choir Libera Makes Billboard Classical Chart

Classic Arts News   Angel Voices by London Youth Choir Libera Makes Billboard Classical Chart
 
Libera, a vocal ensemble of boys from South London neighborhoods, has made the latest Billboard classical chart with its newest disc, Angel Voices, which arrives at no. 23.

To describe the group, a statement on its website says, "The singers of Libera, who are aged seven to sixteen, attend many different local schools in South London and come from a variety of backgrounds. Although they are boys and they sing, they do not think of themselves as choirboys, but rather as an alternative kind of boy band." They perform their concerts in flowing white robes with specially designed stage lighting.

Angel Voices includes selections such as "Going Home" (a vocal arrangement of the slow movement of Dvoršk's "New World" Symphony), the hymn "I vow to thee, my country" (the melody adapted from the "Jupiter" movement of Holst's The Planets), and "Silent Night."

No other titles made a debut on the Billboard classical chart this week, though three discs did return. Two of those feature pianist Lang Lang: Memory, a selection of music important to him from his childhood and student years (no. 17), and his recording of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra (no. 24). Also re-entering the chart was Sarah Chang's rendition of Shostakovich and Prokofiev violin concertos with the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle (no. 20).

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma's Appassionato, which landed on the chart at no. 1 last week, remains in the top spot, followed by Songs From the Labyrinth, Sting's John Dowland disc. Lang Lang's Dragon Songs, a collection of piano music from his native China which debuted last week at no. 5, has risen to third place, while soprano Anna Netrebko's The Russian Album, which arrived on the chart at no. 3, has slipped to fifth. Remaining at no. 4 was the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's recording of her husband's Neruda Songs with James Levine and the Boston Symphony.

The soundtrack to the new film version of Somerset Maugham's novel The Painted Veil, starring Naomi Watts and Edward Norton, rose from 16th to seventh place in its second week on the chart; also in its second week, Janine Jansen's recording of Mendelssohn and Bruch violin concertos slipped from no. 7 to no. 8. (Her recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, which re-entered the chart last week at no. 19, rose to 12th place.)

There were no new arrivals on the Billboard classical crossover chart, though two titles did re-enter: the soundtrack to the film Ladies in Lavender (no. 24), which features violin superstar Joshua Bell, and Strung Out on Three Days Grace (no. 25), a disc of string quartet covers of tunes by the rock band. Il Divo continues to have discs in first, fourth and fifth place; Andrea Bocelli has titles at nos. 3, 6 and 8; Josh Groban's Awake remains at no. 2. Sarah Brightman's Diva slipped two notches to no. 9; trading places with Juanita Bynum and Jonathan Butler's Gospel Goes Classical, now at no. 7. The soundtrack to the 2005 film of Pride and Prejudice remains at no. 10.


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