‘Musical fireworks’ for Valletta Baroque Festival’s second week

Voces Suaves

After a successful first week, the festival is gearing up for its second week, again full of highlights.

The week starts with a piano concert by Kotaro Fukuma at San Anton Palace on Monday 20th January featuring transcriptions of Bach’s works. Later on that day the festival moves to the beautiful Collegiate Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception in Bormla for D’Astorga and Galuppi’s Stabat Mater by Coro & Orchestra Ghislieri. The Valletta Baroque Ensemble and Kor Malta will take the audience through a section of Biber’s finest instrumental music, with is Requiem as a star piece on Tuesday. The stage for this requiem is the amazing Parish Church of St George in Qormi.

Kotaro Fukuma / Marc Bouhiron

A highlight on the 22nd January is the concert at St John’s Co-Cathedral by  La Grand Chapelle with music composed for the court of the Archdukes Albert and Infanta Isabella Clare Eugenia.

Director Albert Recassens quotes the following about the programme: ‘It reconstructs the chamber and chapel music that was heard at the court of the Archdukes Albert and Isabella, taking as a focal point Pedro Ruimonte’s madrigals and villancicos, superbly crafted works which accentuate the expressiveness of the texts. It also features a selection of vocal and instrumental works by his colleagues, primarily motets for double choir by Peter Philips, with clear reminiscences of Rome (not in vain had he studied with Felice Anerio at the English College), as well as instrumental pieces by Girolamo Frescobaldi, Richard Dering and Pieter Cornet. This programme, therefore, evokes the musical landscape of the archducal chapel and chamber, where we can hear a fascinating crossroads of styles (Spanish, Italian, English and Flemish) and the dawning of Baroque modernity’. 

La Grande Chapelle

Artistic Director Kenneth Zammit Tabona could not have thought of a better place to perform this music. The link between the music and the Cathedral is eminent. Rubens’ tapestries which were donated by Grand Master Ramon Perellos y Roccaful relate directly to the Infanta and the Archdukes court.

Therefore, prior to the concert at 6.30 pm Curator Cynthia De Giorgio will give a lecture named The Infanta Isabella and her gift of Woven Splendour at the Oratorio illustrating this link and the important role Isabella Clara played for the arts in those days. The lecture is free for those attending the concert and entrance is at first come, first come basis.

Katherine Watson

On the 23rd January at noon Katherine Watson and Elizabeth Kenny celebrate the 400th anniversary of Barbara Strozzi with a captivating programme, followed in the evening by a concert with Music From the Missions (23rd January). Ensemble Florilegium and its director will perform wonderful baroque music written by Bolivian composers.

Other eyecatchers are Nel Mezzo delcammin di nostra vita by Voces Suaves, counter tenor Raffaele Pé with an exquisite programme on Guilio Cesare. A Baroque Hero, ViBE and Moveo with La Belle Danse and last but not least the closing concert featuring Simone Kermes & Amici Veneziani with Bel Canto di Napoli, which will certainly bring musical fireworks to Teatru Manoel.


For more info and tickets, check out www.vallettabaroquefestival.mt or app.vallettabaroquefestival.mt

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