Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber REQUIEM in F 

2 NOVEMBER 2019 

Basilica of St. Dominic, Valletta - 8:00pm

in collaboration with

THE THREE PALACES

Programme

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber                    Sonata No 1 in B minor from Fidicinium Sacro Profanum

 

 

 

Johann Joseph Fux                                           Sonata a 4

 

 

 

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber                   Requiem ex F con terza minore

Programme Notes

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Von Biber (1644 - 1704)

Until recently, the average concertgoer could have been forgiven for knowing very little about Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644 -1704). His music cropped up only rarely in programmes. Occasionally, a violinist would play one of his sonatas, as the Bohemian-born Biber was one of the great violin virtuosos of his day. But the larger-scale music of one of Mozart’s most significant predecessors as Kapellmeister to the

court of the Archbishop of Salzburg (a post Biber held from 1684 until his death in

1704) went almost entirely unperformed.

 

This has all changed since 2004, when the world celebrated the 300th anniversary of

his death. 

 

The music of Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber is quite popular among violinists and string ensembles as well as audiences. It is mainly the Rosary (or Mystery) Sonatas which attract performances. The music for the instrumental ensemble is less frequently played.

 

The collection which bears the title Fidicinium SacroProfanum tam choro, quam foro pluribus fidibus concinnatum et concini aptum was published in 1683. In translation: “Music sacred and profane for stringed instruments, arranged with art for the court and for the church.” Today we tend to make a clear distinction between the sacred and the profane, but that was not the case in the pre-romantic era. There are many examples of secular music adapted to sacred texts without fundamental changes, such as Bach’s secular cantatas. Some German hymns were originally written to a secular text. This explains why these sonatas include polyphonic sections in stile antico, but also sections with a theatrical character. The sense of contrast is emphasized by the relative shortness of each section.

 

The set is divided into two halves. The first six sonatas are in five parts, with two violins, two violas and violone plus basso continuo. The remaining sonatas are in four parts, but not as one would probably expect for two violins and one viola, but the other way round. In the German speaking world, it was quite common to give relatively greater weight to the lower parts. From Germany we know sonatas with

even three or four parts for violas or viole da gamba.

 

In the first sonata of this collection, to be performed this evening, the four string instruments are treated on strictly equal terms. It is often hardly possible to tell the two violins apart, also because they often imitate each other’s motifs.

Unlike his instrumental, which has enjoyed timeless esteem, Biber’s vocal music has

only become the focus of renewed interest during the last few decades. Biber’s Requiem ex F con terza minore, his ‘small’ Requiem, led the way to the rediscovery of his sacred music by virtue of its early publication in 1923 in

Denkmaler der Tonkunst in Austria.

 

Biber’s church music is characterised by a pronounced relationship between words

and music, in accordance with the principles of musical text interpretation in the sense of musica poetica. The formal architecture of Biber’s sacred compositions is determined by the liturgical text, which is segmented into short conceptual units.

 

Biber composed two settings of the Requiem. Even though both were composed in his later years, their individual characteristics differ markedly from each other. The Requiem a 15 in Concerto is in A major and is intrinsically an expression of reverently festive mourning connected to the funeral ceremonies in 1687 of Prince Bishop Max Gandolph Count Kuenburg.

 

The Requiem in F minor, which will be performed this evening, was composed at a

later date and displays a contemplatively solemn atmosphere. The work, composed

in 1692 is conceived on a grand scale, with the voices supported by a six-part ensemble of strings and a trio of trombones that conjure up sonorities ideally suited to the spaces of Salzburg Cathedral, where it was probably first performed. More significantly, the vocal writing itself carries a much greater expressive weight.

 

In this work, Biber the instrumental composer, cannot be overlooked. The manifold effects of instrumental sonority are employed to translate and emphasize the biblical imagery. In this respect, the liturgical text of the Requiem offers a wide variety of possibilities of musically expressive interpretation, which Biber masterfully implements against the background of the Baroque doctrine of figuration and the affections. In its masterful manner of textual interpretation, through the intensity of its musical figurations expressing grief, lament and consolation, Biber’s Requiem in F minor is among the most expressive works of his oeuvre and one of the 17th century’s most impressive settings of the Mass for the Dead.

Johann Joseph Fux (1660 - 1741)

Johann Joseph Fux is remembered less for his music than for his famous textbook on counterpoint, the Gradus ad Parnassum, yet his music is well worth remembering for its own sake; it was not for nothing that the Emperor Leopold I made Fux his court-composer and music-director. 

 

Fux was born of peasant stock at Hirtenfeld in Eastern Styria, Austria, about 1660. Little is known of his youth, except that he became a student at Graz University when he was about twenty. Again, he disappears into obscurity, perhaps to study in Italy. When next heard of, he is the organist of the famous Scottish Church in Vienna, and on the highroad to imperial preferment. In 1696 he got married, and two years later was appointed Court Composer by the Emperor, an appointment usually reserved for Italian musicians. The Emperor evidently realized that Fux was a man of exceptional talent, to give him precedence over the all-conquering Italians. Further high appointments were in store; in 1701 Fux became Kapellmeister at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and ten years later, in 1711, Music Director at the Imperial Court itself - the highest musical position in Europe. Fux filled the post with distinction, composing and directing many operas and oratorios, as well as dozens of smaller pieces.

Lyrics

1. Introitus: Requiem æternam

 

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine.

Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Te decet hymnus, Deus, in Sion,

Et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem

Exaudi orationem meam

Ad te omnis caro veniet.

 

2. Kyrie

 

Kyrie, eleison!

Christe, eleison!

Kyrie, eleison!

 

3. Graduale: Requiem æternam

 

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine:

et lux perpetua luceat eis.

In memoria æterna erit justus,

ab auditione mala non timebit.

 

4. Tractus: Absolve, Domine

 

Absolve, Domine,

animas omnium fidelium defunctorum

ab omni vinculo delictorum

et gratia tua illis succurente

merantur evadere judicium ultionis,

et lucis æternae beatitudine perfrui.

 

5. Sequentia: Dies Irae

 

Dies irae, dies illa

Solvet saeclum in favilla,

Teste David cum Sibylla.

 

Quantus tremor est futurus,

Quando judex est venturus,

Cuncta stricte discussurus!

 

Tuba mirum spargens sonum

Per sepulchra regionum,

Coget omnes ante thronum.

 

Mors stupebit et natura,

Cum resurget creatura,

Judicanti responsura.

 

Liber scriptus proferetur,

In quo totum continetur,

Unde mundus judicetur.

 

Judex ergo cum sedebit,

Quidquid latet apparebit.

Nil inultum remanebit. 

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?

Quem patronum rogaturus,

Cum vix justus sit securus?

 

Rex tremendæ majestatis

qui salvandos salvas gratis

salva me me, fons pietatis

 

Recordare, Jesu pie,

Quod sum causa tuae viae:

Ne me perdas illa die.

 

Quærens me, sedisti, lassus;

Redemisti crucem passus;

Tantus labor non sit cassus.

 

Juste Judex ultionis,

Donum fac remissionis

Ante diem rationis.

 

Ingemisco tamquam reus,

Culpa rubet vultus meus;

Supplicanti parce, Deus.

 

Qui Mariam absolvisti,

Et latronem exaudisti,

Mihi quoque spem dedisti.

 

Preces meæ non sunt dignae,

Sed tu, bonus, fac benigne,

Ne perenni cremer igne.

 

Inter oves locum præsta,

Et ab haedis me sequestra,

Statuens in parte dextra.

 

Confutatis maledictis

Flammis acribus addictis,

Voca me cum benedictus.

 

Oro supplex et acclinis,

Cor contritum quasi cinis,

Gere curam mei finis.

 

Lacrymosa dies illa,

Qua resurget ex favilla

Judicandus homo reus.

 

Huic ergo parce, Deus:

Pie Jesu Domine:

Dona eis requiem. Amen.

6. Offertorium: Domine, Jesu Christe

 

Domine, Jesu Christe, Rex gloriae,

libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum

de poenis inferni

et de profundo lacu.

Libera eas de ore leonis

ne absorbeat eas tartarus,

ne cadant in obscurum;

Sed signifer sanctus Michael

repræsentet eas in lucem sanctam,

Quam olim Abrahae promisisti

et semini eius.

 

Hostias et preces tibi, Domine

laudis offerimus

tu suscipe pro animabus illis,

querem hodie memoriam facimus.

Fac eas, Domine, de morte

transire ad vita.

Quam olim Abrahae promisisti

et semine eius.

 

7. Sanctus (+ Benedictus)

 

Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus

Dominus Deus Sabaoth!

Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua.

Hosanna in excelsis!

 

Benedictus

 

Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domine.

Hosanna in excelsis!

 

8. Agnus Dei

 

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi

dona eis requiem.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,

dona eis requiem sempiternam.

 

 

Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord

And let perpetual light shine upon them

A hymn, O God, becometh thee in Zion

And a vow shall be rendered to thee in Jerusalem

Hear my prayer

All flesh shall come before you.

 

 

 

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

 

 

 

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord:

and let perpetual light shine upon them.

He shall be justified in everlasting memory, 

and shall not fear evil reports.

 

 

 

Forgive, O Lord,

the souls of all the faithful departed

from all the chains of their sins

and by the aid to them of your grace

may they deserve to avoid the judgment of revenge, and enjoy the blessedness of everlasting light.

 

 

 

This day, this day of wrath

shall consume the world in ashes,

as foretold by David and the Sibyl.

 

What trembling there will be

When the judge shall come

to weigh everything strictly!

 

The trumpet, scattering its awful sound

Across the graves of all lands

Summons all before the throne.

 

Death and nature shall be stunned

When mankind arises

To render account before the judge.

 

The written book shall be brought

In which all is contained

Whereby the world shall be judged.

 

When the judge takes his seat

all that is hidden shall appear

Nothing will remain unavenged.

What shall I, a wretch, say then?

To which protector shall I appeal

When even the just man is barely safe?

 

King of awful majesty

You freely save those worthy of salvation

Save me, fount of pity.

 

Remember, gentle Jesus

that I am the reason for your time on earth,

do not cast me out on that day.

 

Seeking me, you sank down wearily,

you saved me by enduring the cross,

such travail must not be in vain.

 

Righteous judge of vengeance,

award the gift of forgiveness

before the day of reckoning.

 

I groan as one guilty,

my face blushes with guilt;

spare the suppliant, O God.

 

Thou who did absolve Mary [Magdalen]

and hear the prayer of the thief

hast given me hope, too.

 

My prayers are not worthy,

but Thou, O good one, show mercy,

lest I burn in everlasting fire,

 

Give me a place among the sheep,

and separate me from the goats,

placing me on Thy right hand.

 

When the damned are confounded

and consigned to keen flames,

rank me with the blessed.

 

I pray, suppliant and kneeling,

a heart as contrite as ashes;

take Thou my ending into Thy care.

 

That day is one of weeping,

on which shall rise again from the ashes

the guilty man, to be judged.

 

Therefore spare this one, O God,

merciful Lord Jesus:

Give them rest. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, king of glory,

deliver the souls of all the faithful departed

from the pains of Hell

and the bottomless pit.

Deliver them from the jaws of the lion,

lest hell engulf them,

lest they be plunged into darkness;

but let the holy standard-bearer Michael

lead them into the holy light,

as once you promised to Abraham

and to his seed.

 

Lord, in praise we offer you

Sacrifices and prayers,

accept them on behalf of those

who we remember this day:

Lord, make them pass

from death to life,

as once you promised to Abraham

and to his seed.

 

 

 

Holy, holy, holy

Lord God of hosts!

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest!

 

 

 

Blessed is he that cometh in the 

name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest!

 

 

O Lamb of God, that takest away the 

sins of the world, grant them rest.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the

sins of the world, grant them eternal rest.

The Valletta Cultural Agency

A legacy of Valletta 2018 – European Capital of Culture, the Valletta Cultural Agency (VCA) was launched on the 29 th of March 2019. The VCA was set up to sustain and strengthen the capital city’s vibrant cultural life through the creation of an annual programme of creative events, to uphold standards of excellence in their organisation and to encourage access and participation by a diverse audience. In carrying out its remit, the VCA will seek to nurture, discover and create synergies between the old and the new, between people and the spaces and time in which we live to produce exciting and thought-provoking artistic works and cultural events. The Agency therefore works with artists, communities, NGOs, Public Cultural Organisations and other stakeholders to create a more sustainable, inclusive, and equitable cultural sector that involves residents, visitors, the business community and public entities alike.


A UNESCO World Heritage Site that holds within its walls over 300 monuments, Valletta is one of the most densely-concentrated historic areas in the world in terms of tangible culture, but it has also enriched itself, generation after generation, with an equally valuable intangible
element that the Agency is committed to protect and promote. The VCA will strive to strengthen the city’s contemporary cultural practices and the living, working and visiting communities which give Valletta the vibrant life it has become synonymous with. Based on studies conducted for the Valletta 2018 initiative, the VCA believes that city’s lifeline is sustained by a thriving and sustainable cultural sector that fundamentally underpins the economic and social fabric of the city, bringing communities together, creating a platform for civic participation, employing hundreds of workers, attracting thousands of tourists, and generating millions in economic activity each year. Sustaining this level of cultural vibrancy and activity while involving the various stakeholders in the city will be another of the Agency’s priorities.

Picture by Justin Mamo

Artist Bios

Marvic Monreal - Mezzo Soprano

Maltese mezzo-soprano Marvic Monreal was on the Young Artists Programme at the National Opera Studio in London. Marvic obtained her MA in Voice with distinction, following by the Opera Course from the Royal Academy of Music. Before starting her studies in London, she completed a degree in Tourism Studies at the University of Malta.

 

Marvic was a Georg Solti Accademia scholar in summer 2018. She spent the summer of 2017 in Salzburg participating in the Young Singers Project: she had her debut at the Salzburg Festival with the role of Pisana in I Due Foscari opposite Placido Domingo and tenor Joseph Calleja in the title roles. Recent performances include Joseph Calleja’s annual summer concert in Malta, where Marvic had the opportunity to share the stage with the tenor himself as well as Sir Bryn Terfel. She

was the soloist in Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, conducted by Semyon Bychkov at the Royal Festival Hall, and a soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Brian Schembri for Europe Day Concert. Marvic was a Jerwood Young Artist at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2016. 

 

For Royal Academy Opera, she has had the pleasure to perform Bradamante in Alcina,

Venus Orphée aux enfers, Mrs. Peachum in Die Dreigroschenoper, Minkswoman in Flight and Carmen in La tragédie de Carmen. She is most grateful to the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation for their continuing support. Marvic is also a Fellow at Independent Opera.

Nicholas Mulroy - Tenor

Born in Liverpool, Nicholas was a chorister at the city’s Metropolitan Cathedral before studying Modern Languages at Cambridge and voice at the RAM. He has since been in constant demand both in the UK and further afield in a wide range of concert, recital and opera engagements. He has sung at many of the world’s great concert halls: the Sydney Opera House, Boston Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Berlin Philharmonie and the Salzburg Festival.

 

Nicholas has particularly enjoyed prolonged collaborations with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and EBS, Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort, Lars-Ulrik Mortensen and Concerto Copenhagen, John Butt and the Dunedin Consort, Andrzej Kosendiak, Stephen Layton and Jordi Savall. He has also sung to critical acclaim with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, the OAE, the Brussels, Copenhagen, BBC, Wroclaw and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras, Melbourne Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, and Britten Sinfonia. On the opera stage he has appeared at houses including Paris (Palais Garnier and Opéra Comique), Glyndebourne, Copenhagen’s Kongelige Teater, Opéra de Lille,

and the Grand Capitole in Toulouse.

 

A committed recitalist, he has appeared regularly at the Wigmore Hall singing a wide

range of repertoire including Purcell, both Bach Passions, Schubert, and the complete Britten Canticles. He has sung Janacek’s Diary of One who Vanished for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, for the Philharmonia at the RFH, and as part of the Aurora Janacek Festival, and given recitals at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and festivals in Maribor, Ludlow, Bath and Orkney. He continues to collaborate with regular partners John Reid, Joseph Middleton, Alisdair Hogarth and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny.

Albert Buttigieg - Bass

Albert Buttigieg began his musical education at the Johann Strauss School of Music.

He also studied vocal technique at the school, as well as at the Opera Studio under Professoressa Dobreva and is presently is under the guidance of Ms Juliette Bisazza Zanni. He has recently obtained his LTCL in Voice performance.

 

Buttigieg is a regular soloist in recitals and concerts. His performance experience

ranges from baroque to contemporary, opera to song. Notwithstanding his varied experiences, sacred music strikes the chord closest to Albert’s heart with the most memorable being Bach’s St Matthew Passion, the Requiem masses of Haydn, Mozart, Verdi, Faure and Durufle as well as Handel’s Messiah. His Operatic roles include Timur in Turandot, Tobias Mill in Il Cambiale di Matrimonio, Ferrando in Il Trovatore, Monterone in Rigoletto and The Father in Hansel and Gretel.

 

He is an active member of the Valletta Baroque Ensemble (ViBE), with the most notable performance to date being the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610.

Stefano Molardi – Director

The Italian organist, musicologist, harpsichordist, conductor and music pedagogue, Stefano Molardi, studied music with some of the most famous international personalities, such as Ewald Kooiman, Stembridge, Vogel, Tagliavini. He attended

the class of Michael Radulescu in the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, and

collaborated, with the same musician, as part of the basso continuo at the Académie Bach of Porrentruy (Switzerland). He received numerous awards in national and international organ competitions, including Paisan di Prato (Udine) in 1998, Viterbo in 1996, Brugge and Innsbruck (Paul Hofhaimer).

 

Stefano Molardi has gone on to a brilliant career as a soloist and in chamber ensembles, playing in some of the most prestigious concert venues in the world and in some of the most important festivals in Milan, Treviso, Valvasone, Maastricht,

Vienna, and Nürnberg amongst others. In 2009 he performed the complete organ works of Franz Liszt and César Franck in Lugano.

 

Stefano Molardi teaches Organ at the Italian Switzerland Conservatory in Lugano, at

the Conservatory “A. Scontrino” in Trapani, and holds Master Classes and conferences on baroque performance practice both in Italy and abroad (Lugano, Seville, Dresden, Nuremberg, Budapest). Stefano Molardi recorded for Tactus, Christophorus, Deutsche Grammophon and

Divox, obtaining enthusiastic reviews and important international recognitions. With

Divox he recorded both as a soloist - 4 CDs dedicated to the organ music of Claudio Merulo - and as a conductor of the baroque orchestra I Virtuosi delle Muse, founded together with violinist Jonathan Guyonnet. The ensemble specializes in Italian vocal and instrumental repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Gillian Zammit - Soprano

Gillian Zammit began her vocal training in Malta with Antoinette Miggiani and Paul

Asciak and went on to study in Italy with Carlo Bergonzi and Victoria de los Angeles. Gillian is a versatile performer with an operatic repertoire that ranges from Baroque to 20th Century opera. Operatic productions include Semele and The Turn of The Screw, Gianni Schicchi and Hansel and Gretel. She is a regular performer at Teatru Manoel. Recent operatic roles include Euridice in the Manoel’s production of Gluck’s

opera Orfeo and Euridice conducted by Philip Walsh. She has worked with many established artists including Joseph Calleja, Andrea Bocelli and Emma Kirkby.

 

Gillian is also highly regarded as a recital singer with a varied repertoire of Lieder, Spanish and French song having performed Richard Strauss’ ‘Four Last Songs’ with the Malta Philarmonic Orchestra (MPO) conducted by Brian Schembri and most recently Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’Ete with Raoul Lay and the MPO. She is also a respected exponent of Baroque music recording a number of Maltese works with Joseph Vella and performs regularly with the Valletta Baroque Ensemble (ViBE) and in the Valletta International Baroque Festival.

 

She recently released her debut solo CD entitled ‘The Love Songs of Paolo Tosti’ with pianist Lucia Micallef and has been signed up by UK record label Claudio Records. Another recent CD release is Aprile recorded under the auspices of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. Gillian has performed in Germany, America, UK,

France, Armenia and Romania.

Francesca Aquilina - Soprano

Francesca Aquilina completed the MA Opera course at the RWCMD where she studied with Suzanne Murphy and was coached by Sharon Richards and Angela Livingstone. In Malta she trains with soprano, Gillian Zammit who has been her mentor and tutor for nearly 20 years. She received a Bachelor of Music (Honours)

first class degree from Edinburgh Napier University.

 

Her roles have included Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Bastienne in Mozart’s Bastien and Bastienne, Inez in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Eurydice in Opera’r Ddraig’s production of Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Despina with the same company for their production of Così fan Tutte, Adina in Winterbourne Opera’s production of The Elixir Of Love, Jenny in Welsh National Opera’s touring production of My Perfect World. She has also sung with Clonter Opera as well as singing with ViBE in London as part of the CHOGM Malta celebrations. Francesca’s role in Teatru Manoel production include Giannetta in L’Elisir d’Amore & Amore in Orfeo ed Euridice and Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro.

 

She has performed in concerts all around the UK as well as in Italy, France and Germany and has premiered the works of several prominent Maltese composers. In 2018, she toured in the Netherlands with a Dutch company where she played the role of the High Priestess in Opera Spanga’s production of Aida and as part of the V18 programme in Malta. She is a member of the Monteverdi Project in Malta which has

led her to sing in many prominent early music concerts and festivals.

ViBE - Valletta Baroque Ensemble

The ensemble brings together leading musicians who share an infectious enthusiasm for making music, and who seek to breathe life into jewels of early music as if the ink were still fresh on the score. The idea of creating ViBE was sown around twelve years ago, over a meal between musician friends. Someone lamented the lack of a specialist group to perform the rich repertoire of Maltese baroque works and

suggested that it might be a good idea to set up such an ensemble. A playful proposal perhaps, but one which led, several years (and much effort) later, to the birth of the Valletta Baroque Ensemble, a group committed to historically informed performance on original instruments of Renaissance to late Baroque music.

 

The memorable inaugural concert, held in December 2012, featured the participation

of Dame Emma Kirkby. This was just a few weeks before the first edition of the Valletta International Baroque Festival, of which ViBE was (and still is) the resident ensemble. As one would expect, the Festival provides an important and prestigious platform for the group, but ViBE’s activities are not limited to its yearly participation at this international musical kermesse. Over the past years, ViBE has organised several exciting concerts of Renaissance and Baroque repertoire both in Malta and abroad, with an emphasis on the music of Maltese composers such as Abos,

Balzano, Zerafa and Mikel’Angelo Vella and compositions found at the Mdina Cathedral archives.

 

These events have seen the group work and perform alongside leading world authorities in the field. ViBE regularly hosts workshops led by foreign Baroque specialists as part of its commitment to nurture young musicians in the acquisition of Baroque instrumental techniques.

 

In May 2017 ViBE held a tour of Berlin, Paris and Madrid as part of the EU Presidency Cultural Showcase with a programme featuring baroque music from Malta, Spain, France and Germany. Upcoming performances include a collaboration with Moveo Dance company featuring traditional Baroque dances infused with contemporary dance for the 2020 edition of the Valletta International Baroque Festival.

Credits

Director

Stefano Molardi 

 

Soprano

Gillian Zammit 

Francesca Aquilina

 

Mezzo-Soprano

Marvic Monreal 

 

Tenor

Nicholas Mulroy

 

Bass 

Albert Buttigieg 

 

 

 

KorMalta

 

Soprano 1

Alison Gatt

Helena Ferro

Yanika Degiorgio

 

Soprano 2

Caroline Bartoli

Joanna Vella

Mariette Borg

 

Altos

Amy Talbot

Nicole Vassallo

Stephania Farrugia Frantz

 

Tenors

Alan Mulligan

Dillon Camilleri

Karl Cassar

 

Basses

Daniel Micallef Grimaud

Mark Bartolo

Riccardo Bianchi

Valletta Baroque Ensemble

 

Violins

Catherine Martin 

Carla Seidel 

 

Violas

Sarah Spiteri 

Johannes Salger 

Elena Muscat 

 

Sackbuts

Sue Addison 

Stephanie Dyer 

Adrian France 

 

Cornet

Richard Thomas 

 

Dulcian

Sally Jackson 

 

Cello

Jacob Portelli

 

Double Bass

Michelle Scicluna 

 

Harpsichord

Joanne Camilleri

Marvic Monreal - Mezzo Soprano

Maltese mezzo-soprano Marvic Monreal was on the Young Artists Programme at the National Opera Studio in London. Marvic obtained her MA in Voice with distinction, following by the Opera Course from the Royal Academy of Music. Before starting her studies in London, she completed a degree in Tourism Studies at the University of Malta.

 

Marvic was a Georg Solti Accademia scholar in summer 2018. She spent the summer of 2017 in Salzburg participating in the Young Singers Project: she had her debut at the Salzburg Festival with the role of Pisana in I Due Foscari opposite Placido Domingo and tenor Joseph Calleja in the title roles. Recent performances include Joseph Calleja’s annual summer concert in Malta, where Marvic had the opportunity to share the stage with the tenor himself as well as Sir Bryn Terfel. She

was the soloist in Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, conducted by Semyon Bychkov at the Royal Festival Hall, and a soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Brian Schembri for Europe Day Concert. Marvic was a Jerwood Young Artist at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2016. 

 

For Royal Academy Opera, she has had the pleasure to perform Bradamante in Alcina,

Venus Orphée aux enfers, Mrs. Peachum in Die Dreigroschenoper, Minkswoman in Flight and Carmen in La tragédie de Carmen. She is most grateful to the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation for their continuing support. Marvic is also a Fellow at Independent Opera.

Nicholas Mulroy - Tenor

Born in Liverpool, Nicholas was a chorister at the city’s Metropolitan Cathedral before studying Modern Languages at Cambridge and voice at the RAM. He has since been in constant demand both in the UK and further afield in a wide range of concert, recital and opera engagements. He has sung at many of the world’s great concert halls: the Sydney Opera House, Boston Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Berlin Philharmonie and the Salzburg Festival.

 

Nicholas has particularly enjoyed prolonged collaborations with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and EBS, Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort, Lars-Ulrik Mortensen and Concerto Copenhagen, John Butt and the Dunedin Consort, Andrzej Kosendiak, Stephen Layton and Jordi Savall. He has also sung to critical acclaim with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, the OAE, the Brussels, Copenhagen, BBC, Wroclaw and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras, Melbourne Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, and Britten Sinfonia. On the opera stage he has appeared at houses including Paris (Palais Garnier and Opéra Comique), Glyndebourne, Copenhagen’s Kongelige Teater, Opéra de Lille,

and the Grand Capitole in Toulouse.

 

A committed recitalist, he has appeared regularly at the Wigmore Hall singing a wide

range of repertoire including Purcell, both Bach Passions, Schubert, and the complete Britten Canticles. He has sung Janacek’s Diary of One who Vanished for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, for the Philharmonia at the RFH, and as part of the Aurora Janacek Festival, and given recitals at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and festivals in Maribor, Ludlow, Bath and Orkney. He continues to collaborate with regular partners John Reid, Joseph Middleton, Alisdair Hogarth and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny.

Albert Buttigieg - Bass

Albert Buttigieg began his musical education at the Johann Strauss School of Music.

He also studied vocal technique at the school, as well as at the Opera Studio under Professoressa Dobreva and is presently is under the guidance of Ms Juliette Bisazza Zanni. He has recently obtained his LTCL in Voice performance.

 

Buttigieg is a regular soloist in recitals and concerts. His performance experience

ranges from baroque to contemporary, opera to song. Notwithstanding his varied experiences, sacred music strikes the chord closest to Albert’s heart with the most memorable being Bach’s St Matthew Passion, the Requiem masses of Haydn, Mozart, Verdi, Faure and Durufle as well as Handel’s Messiah. His Operatic roles include Timur in Turandot, Tobias Mill in Il Cambiale di Matrimonio, Ferrando in Il Trovatore, Monterone in Rigoletto and The Father in Hansel and Gretel.

 

He is an active member of the Valletta Baroque Ensemble (ViBE), with the most notable performance to date being the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610.

KorMalta

KorMalta, Malta’s National Choir, is an initiative of Arts Council Malta, within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government. KorMalta handles both a cappella as well as symphonic repertoire with musical ensembles. KorMalta’s first concert Motets and Madrigals: From Sacred to Profane last December, was an all a cappella programme, which showcased the choir’s capabilities with some of the most

well-known choral compositions spanning from the Sacred of de Victoria, Byrd and

Bruckner to the profane of Monteverdi and Mendelssohn.

 

In 2019, KorMalta collaborated with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) and a stellar line-up of Maltese and foreign soloists for the production of Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor. Other performances during the same season saw KorMalta joining the MPO for the Live to Film performance of Beauty and the Beast, for a Holy Week concert in April, Sacred Utterances under the artistic and musical direction of Michelle Castelletti and in May with Michael Laus for Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace.

 

KorMalta is also providing professional training for its choristers with Master Classes by local and foreign tutors. In preparation for its launch concert, choristers underwent training with world-famous tenor Nicholas Mulroy. The engagement of such musicians of Mulroy’s calibre is of benefit to the choristers in achieving a higher level of choral singing.

 

KorMalta is prepared by chorus master and artistic director Riccardo Bianchi.

KorMalta Board

 

Chairperson

Etienne Bonello

 

Members

Chris Spiteri

Helena Ferro 

Ingrid Sciberras

Joseph Lia

 

KorMalta Artistic Director & Chorus Master 

Riccardo Bianchi

© Festivals Malta - 2019