11 - 29 January 2023

Kenneth Zammit Tabona

Artistic Director

The 11th Edition of the Valletta Baroque Festival is underway and it is as eclectic as ever. After two agonizingly long years of postponements due to the pandemic we now have a splendiferous programme that had been in accumulation since 2019. Besides the time honoured baroque composers; Bach, Handel and the rest of the sacred band’s music played on baroque instruments we have transcriptions and paraphrases for piano, wind instruments, saxophones, organ and even a rock band. I wanted to highlight the enormous versatility of the baroque idiom and its mass appeal. Above all the festival’s strength lies in the wonderful baroque settings that one finds in Valletta and the Maltese archipelago; a precious legacy that each and every one of us Maltese treasure…

11 - 29 January 2023
In collaboration with

PROGRAMME 2023

11 January 2023 | 7:30pm

 

Valletta Baroque Ensemble and Kor Malta.

Venue: St John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta

The Dettingen Te Deum and other Handelian hits 

The Dettingen Te Deum was written in commemoration of the last battle led by an English king; specifically, George II in 1743. This concert will feature two other Handel masterpieces; Zadok the Priest and Eternal Source of Light Divine.

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12 January 2023 | 7:30pm

Bach Cantatas, BWV131, 13, 106

Alia Mens dir. Olivier Spilmont

Venue: Parish Church of the Annunciation, Tarxien

Eloquentia

Bach begins the creation of what he judges to be the core of his work with his cantatas. He was always concerned for his works to be organised through games of symmetry and alternation creating a balanced structure to the expression of his thoughts.

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13 January 2023 | 12:00pm

 

Johanna Rose (viola da gamba) and Javier Núñez (harpsichord)

Venue: The Refectory, Archbishop's Curia, Floriana

CPE Bach Sonatas

This concert takes us on a musical journey through the sonatas of Bach's second surviving son Carl Philipp Emanuel.

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13 January 2023 | 4:00pm

 

Avi Avital (mandolin)

Venue: Bibliotheca, Valletta

Bach on Mandolin

The first mandolin soloist to be nominated for a classical Grammy, Avi Avital has been compared to Andres Segovia for his championship of his instrument and to Jascha Heifitz for his incredible virtuosity. Avital is a driving force behind the reinvigoration of the mandolin repertoire.

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13 January 2023 | 8:00pm

BWV1066-1069

Les Passions de l’Âme

Venue: Teatru Manoel, Valletta

Bach - The Four Orchestral Suites

Similar to the set of the six Brandenburg concertos, the orchestration of the four orchestral suites varies somewhat, highlighting different instruments. They are very rarely played together and consist of an ‘ouverture’ followed by a set of dance movements in the French style.

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14 January 2023 | 12:00pm

 

Accademia del Piacere

Venue: Archaeology Museum, Valletta

Diálogos de viejos y nuevos sones

This concert approaches baroque instruments through roots music that like flamenco is a constant growth of new branches from the trunk of tradition, a constant interaction between the new and the old.

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14 January 2023 | 4:00pm

 

Vassilis Varvaresos (piano)

Venue: San Anton Palace, Attard

Adagio Religioso

A very personal choice of Bach’s transcriptions paired with music by Messiaen and Rachmaninoff, both of which were inspired by Baroque themes.

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14 January 2023 | 8:00pm

 

Accademia del Piacere

Venue: Archaeology Museum, Valletta

Chorales for Violas da Gamba and Organ 

Bach's organ chorales are one of the most surprising jewels in the creative corpus of the great Johann Sebastian Bach. The consort of violas da gamba can perfectly replicate the texture and colour of the organ, so transcribing this music for this ensemble becomes a very respectful and fluid metamorphic process.

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15 January 2023 | 11:00am

 

Abchordis Trio

Venue: Cathedral Museum, Mdina

Sonate da Camera del Barocco Napoletano

It was in the aristocratic salons and academies of Naples that instrumental chamber music flourished. Concerts were often open to the public in the houses of the nobility. This programme recreates this atmosphere in a selection of chamber sonatas by the greatest composers of the Neapolitan school.

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15 January 2023 | 3:00pm

 

Lautten Compagney BERLIN

Venue: Verdala Palace, Buskett

Biber & Piazzolla

This programme brings together music by two composers from different eras that at first glance have nothing in common, however the juxtaposition of these two genres of music by lautten compagney BERLIN is very intriguing and aesthetically pleasing.

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15 January 2023 | 6:00pm

 

Weaver Ensemble

Venue: Teatru Manoel, Valletta

The Remarkably Talented Mr Weaver Presents...

An eighteenth-century choreographic fantasy set to music by Clarke, Croft, Eccles, Finger, Lully, Paisible and Purcell, devised and created by Stephen Wyatt & Evelyn Nallen telling the story about how English choreographer John Weaver fought to achieve his dream of creating a proper dance-drama in a world that regarded dance as a frivolous side-line.

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18 January 2023 | 12:00pm

 

Sarah Spiteri (baroque viola) and Pablo Zapico (theorbo)

Venue: Bibliotheca, Valletta

Music from the Court of Versailles

The programme to be performed is for music written for viola da gamba which adapts itself beautifully to the baroque viola because of the similar range and texture.  The composers proposed for this programme were all master viola da gambists.

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18 January 2023 | 7:30pm

 

Gabetta Consort with Valer Barna-Sabadus (countertenor)

Venue: Teatru Manoel, Valletta

Baroque quintessence of Handel & Vivaldi  

When one thinks of Baroque music, Handel and Vivaldi are amongst the first names to come to mind. Both composers are also well-known for their wide range of repertoire written for castrato, today widely performed by countertenors.

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19 January 2023 | 12:00pm

 

SIGNUM Saxophone Quartet and Kai Schumacher (piano)

Venue: Phoenicia Hotel Ballroom, Floriana

Goldberg Nights

Tranquillity and trance, ecstasy and exhaustion, dream, and reality – with this new programme the SIGNUM saxophone quartet and Kai Schumacher on piano embark on an odyssey through the realms of possibility and contrast called The Golberg Nights Project, originally inspired by this festival’s artistic director.

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19 January 2023 | 7:30pm

 

Coro e Orchestra Ghislieri

Venue: Collegiate Basilica of St Helen, Birkirkara

Mozart in Milan

In 1773 Mozart’s famous motet Exultate Jubilate was premiered at the church of Sant’Antonio Abate in Milan. Coro e Orchestra Ghislieri have created Mozart in Milan, commemorating this music and other Milanese sacred music by Mozart’s Milanese contemporaries; Gianandrea Fioroni, Johann Christian Bach and Melchiorre Chiesa.

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20 January 2023 | 12:00pm

 

Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord) Jonathan Keates (narrator)

Venue: St Mary of Jesus Church (Ta' Ġieżu), Rabat

Kuhnau Biblical Sonatas

Amongst the last of his publications, Johann Kuhnau's Musicalische Vorstellung Einiger Biblischer Historien (1700) stands in his keyboard output as the most emphatic manifestation of the multi-faceted mind and activity of one of Baroque music's most remarkable polymaths.

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20 January 2023 | 4:00pm

Bux WV75

Valletta Baroque Ensemble and Kor Malta

Venue: Santa Tereża ta' Ġesù, Cospicua

Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri

Buxtehude’s cantata cycle, Membra Jesu Nostri, is a unique work based on texts from a mediaeval Latin hymn, ‘Salve mundi salutare’. The cycle contains seven cantatas each dedicated to a different part of Christ’s crucified body.

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20 January 2023 | 8:00pm

 

Capella Cracoviensis

Venue: Church of the Immaculate Conception, Cospicua

Biber's Rosary Sonatas

The Rosary Sonatas are a group of fifteen short sonatas and a passacaglia for violin and basso continuo written by Bohemian composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber around 1674. Rooted in Biber’s long-time employment with the court of the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, they are rare examples of instrumental sacred music.

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21 January 2023 | 12:00pm

 

​Arsenale Sonoro dir. Boris Begelman with Francesca Aspromonte (soprano)

Venue: Parish Church of the Assumption, Għaxaq

Ardet Meum Cor

The image of the burning heart is a very well-known catholic symbol of Jesus’ love for humanity. This is translated into verse and music in this collection of motets and sonatas by Corelli, Bonporti and Handel.

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21 January 2023 | 4:00pm

 

Isang Enders (cello) and Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord)

Venue: Verdala Palace, Buskett

The Bach Family and Telemann

A selection of works transcribed for modern cello and harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach and his family with Jorge Philipp Telemann as a guest.

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21 January 2023 | 8:00pm

 

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with Trevor Bowes as Polifemo

Venue: Teatru Manoel, Valletta

Handel: Aci, Galatea e Polifemo 

Duchess Aurora di Sanseverino commissioned this opera for a wedding celebration in Naples; on a spicy Italian libretto penned by her private secretary Nicola Giuvo. Handel composed Aci in his early twenties, during the highly formative years he spent in Italy. The most famous aria for lyric bass from this opera is Fra L’Ombre e Gl'Orrori.

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22 January 2023 | 11:00am

 

Steven Devine

Venue: Cathedral Museum, Mdina

Rameau's Divine Keyboard

The publication of Rameau’s Nouvelles Suites de Pièces de Clavecin marked an important development in his compositional technique. Unusually for 18th century music, Rameau and his contemporaries anticipated the impressionistic music of Debussy because of their very strong descriptive element.

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21 January 2023 | 3:00pm

 

Steven Devine and Kate Semmens

Venue: Cathedral Museum, Mdina

Delicatessen

This programme explores the work of English composers from the 17th and 18th centuries well-known for their art in enhancing the meaning of words through music. Many of the texts explore simple pastoral scenes where shepherds and shepherdesses fall in and out of love, sometimes with disastrous consequences.

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22 January 2023 | 6:00pm

 

Combattimento with Claudia Patacca (soprano)

Venue: Teatru Manoel, Valletta

Lust and Love Lost

A selection of cantatas and overtures by Handel and Telemann based on the tragic consequences of unrequieted love.

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25 January 2023 | 12:00pm

 

Prisma

Venue: Verdala Palace, Buskett

Streets of London

PRISMA takes us on a trip through the pubs and bars of London and explores the British dance music of the 17th century. This programme brings melodies of the famous collection ‘The English Dancing Master’ as well as music from ‘The Division Violin’, Scottish and Irish Folk tunes, and even some later hits like ‘Danny Boy’ – all performed in the spontaneous and lively PRISMA style!

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25 January 2023 | 7:30pm

 

L'Arte del Mondo with Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli (soprano)

Venue: Casino Maltese, Valletta

Delirio Amoroso

These works include extensive, enormously extroverted solo cantatas for soprano. They are rarely heard, and unlike many other works by Handel from his Italian period, they have not yet regained the attention they deserve. Thus ‘Delirio Amoroso’ is not just a flowery made-up title, but an extremely colourful body of work by a young composer full of joie de vivre and original ideas.

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26 January 2023 | 12:00pm

 

Roberto Cominati (piano)

Venue: Teatru Manoel, Valletta

Spectacular Piano Transcriptions

In this performance, the great season of the late Baroque is reinterpreted through the experiences of successive historical periods. The harpsichord originals by Scarlatti, Handel and Rameau come to life on the piano keyboard and are confronted with the reinterpretations proposed by the great pianists/transcribers of the twentieth century.

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26 January 2023 | 7:30pm

 

Camerata Kilkenny

Venue: Verdala Palace, Buskett

The Piper and the Fairy Queen

The connections between baroque and traditional Irish music are explored in this fascinating concert which brings together the traditional music skills of uilleann piper David Power with acclaimed early music group Camerata Kilkenny.

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27 January 2023 | 12:00pm

 

Charlie Siem (violin)

Venue: Palazzo Parisio, Naxxar

Bach Spectacular Violin 

Virtuoso Charlie Siem returns to the Valletta Baroque Festival with a Bach sonata BWV 1003 and a partita BWV 1006. Passionate about bringing classical music to new audiences around the world, in addition to his classical performance career Siem has revived the age-old violinistic tradition of composing virtuosic variations of popular themes.

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27 January 2023 | 4:00pm

 

Passacaglia Trio

Venue: Verdala Palace, Buskett

To Touch the Heart

Frederick the Great of Prussia was a keen flautist and musician who employed some of the most celebrated and talented composers and performers of the age, including Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach as well as the famous flautist, teacher, and writer Johann Joachim Quantz. This concert consists of works directly connected to King Frederick and his wonderful ‘enlightened’ court at Sanssouci.

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27 January 2023 | 7:30pm

 

Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

Venue: Church of the Circumcision of our Lord (Jesuits), Valletta

Inspired by Baroque

Inspired by Baroque consists of 20th century and contemporary music for modern orchestras inspired by the Baroque idiom. This concert will consist of works by Prokofiev, Grieg, Strauss and Maltese composer Veronique Vella.

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28 January 2023 | 12:00pm

 

Palisander

Venue: Malta Maritime Museum, Vittoriosa

Beware the Spider

At a time when human knowledge and understanding of the world around them was developing with increasing speed, the continued belief in curing spider bites with music seems all the more extraordinary. This concert celebrates this belief.

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28 January 2023 | 4:00pm

 

Hansjörg Albrecht (organ)

Venue: Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Balluta

Vivaldi Quattro Stagioni & Handel: Royal Fireworks Music

This recital consists of two of the most famous works by Handel and Vivaldi opulently transcribed for the "queen of instruments", the organ, which gives them a completely new dimension.

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28 January 2023 | 7:30pm

 

Ensemble Divino Sospiro 

Venue: Basilica of St Dominic, Valletta

Alessandro Scarlatti: Il Giardino di Rose

Alessandro Scarlatti’s oratorio Il Giardino di Rose dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary was commissioned by Prince Francesco Maria Ruspoli and was performed in Palazzo Bonelli in Rome on Easter Sunday 1707. This oratorio by the Palermitan composer, was only recently rediscovered and is extremely innovative in style for its time.

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28 January 2023 | 9:30pm

 

The Rock Troupers

Venue: Teatru Manoel, Valletta 

BaRock

The Rock Troupers are returning with a bang to the Valletta Baroque Festival together with six classical baroque musicians. This rock band will present re-works of Rock and Baroque classics from Bach to Jon Lord and from Vivaldi to Pink Floyd.

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29 January 2023 | 10:30am

 

Cantarlontano/The Monteverdi Project dir. Marco Mencoboni

Venue: Church of the Circumcision of our Lord (Jesuits), Valletta

Abos: Mass in G (World premiere)

A liturgical Mass in G for voices and instruments by the Italo-Maltese composer Girolamo Abos. This music was preserved in the Library of the Conservatory of Music S. Pietro a Majella in Naples under the signature M. Rel. 8. This particularmass can be distinguished from others written by Abos due to the presence of the timpani in the score.

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11 - 29 January 2023
In collaboration with