Feel the Magic of Classics
The Camerata Galatea performed a programme of virtuoso classic numbers that thrilled the sizeable audience with the sheer pyrotechnical feats of the ensemble made of core musicians from the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. The Camerata Galatea musicians Agnieszka Kuzma and Fiona Giambra (violins), Matteusz Kuzma (viola), Akos Kertesz (cello) u Rebecca Hall (flute) performed works by Hildegard von Bingen , Maria Margherita Grimani (active in the period 1713-1718), W.M. Mozart (1759-1781), Maltese female composer Veronique Vella (b. 1979) and Amy Beach (1867-1944).
Composers represented included the medieval abbess Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), a work of great mystic beauty transcribed for string quartet and flute that opened this eclectic concert. This was followed by the Sinfonia to the opus dramaticum Marte e Pallade (1713). Grimani’s opus was written in Bologna, according to its inscription on the title page of the manuscript. This had a charm all of its own that conquered the audience with its sheer energy and forward thrust.
The programme also featured Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D Major, probably written between 1777/78. The trhee movements Allegro, Adagio and Rondeau. Of a particular intrinsic beauty is the romantic troubadour song that Beethoven borrowed for his Duo for clarinet and bassoon (1792).
Veronique Vella’s work for solo flute entitled Wens (2009) struck the audience as a particular voice where some extended flute techniques are used to great effect amid a modal fabric. Amy Beach is now recognised as being one of America’s leading woman composers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She belonged to the Second New England School of composers. Her Quartet for Strings, opus 89, is a lean yet lyrical work of great originality, that incorporates Alaskan Inuit melodies as thematic material. This was excellently rendered by the Galatea Ensemble.
The members of the Galatea Ensemble are also eminent musicians of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and have performed extensively throughout Europe, and other countries such as Canada and Australia. They specialise in performing and premiering works by female composers as well as those of Maltese composers. The group is the brainchild of Frà Dr Richard Divall, an eminent Australian musicologist, who also shared a special friendship with our artistic director Dr John Galea. The Galatea Ensemble have performed during the Valletta International Baroque Festival, The National Council of Women concerts and various other venues throughout Malta and abroad. The Galatea ensemble is under the artistic direction of Dr Rebecca Hall.
This event was held at Saint James Church, Independence Square on 6 October 2019 and introduced by the Artistic Director of Feel the Magic project, Dr John Galea.