A taste of baroque music was provided by a performance of the Adagio and Allegria movements from Corelli’s Sonata No. 4 by Sarah Spiteri on violin and Alex Vella Gregory on the harpsichord to welcome the news of the 2014 Valletta Baroque Festival. All concert details can be found on the ‘Events to indulge@’ tab.
Kenneth Zammit Tabona, the Festival’s Artistic Director, presented the 2014 programme highlighting specific events and explaining the artistic aims and objectives behind the choice of programme. One of the most exciting projects is the world premiere ofthe parody of the opera Hippolyte et Aricie performed with live singers and musicians and with (almost) life-size marionettes. This is a result of a collaboration with the renowned Centre de Musique de Versailles.
As 2014 is the 250th anniversary of Rameau’s death there are three other performances featuring the music of this great French 18th century composer notably Airs Enchantèes by the Kolner Akademie featuring instrumental and vocal highlights from Rameau’s most famous operas; notably Les Indes Galantes.
Celebrated religious works include Handel’s Messiah which opens the Festival at Ta’ GiezuChurch as well as Monteverdi’ Vespers performed at St. Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral, both these venues are new ones for the next Festival. The third religious work is Bach’s great B Minor Mass performed by the world-famous The English Concert at St. John’s Co-Cathedral.Bach also features in an astounding concert featuring all six Brandenburg Concertos by Concerto Koln and Music from the Habsburg Court by the Viennese Concilium Musicum.
The 2014 Festival includes twenty-three great performances, three Toi Toi sessions and a Baroque Costume Ball in just over two weeks. Performers include artists such as Max Emmanuel Cencic, one of Europe’s leading countertenors and Malta’s own home-grown talents including Gillian Zammit, Clare Massa, Nicholas Mulroy, Albert Buttigieg, the Anon and Goldberg Ensembles under the direction of Michael Laus and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. One important legacy of the Festival is the formation of the Valletta Festival Baroque Ensemble which will be performing twice during the Festival. The aim of this ensemble is to nurture local musicians to perform on baroque instruments and gradually begin to revive the numerous baroque musical works by Maltese composers.