Despite the fact that this year’s edition of the Valletta Baroque Festival had to have its programme shortened – thanks, COVID – the prestigious festival is still managing to live up to its high expectations.
This is partially thanks to the Valletta Baroque Ensemble and Kor Malta’s powerful rendition of Handel’s Messiah, which took place last Tuesday.
Missed the first event?
Worry not! You’re still in time to book your tickets for the rest of the festival’s programmed concerts, which now also feature three mid-day concerts.
Although pared down to safeguard artist, patrons, and staff, the Valletta Baroque Festival will nevertheless strive to uphold its trademark qualities of prestige, beauty, and excellence.
This year’s edition of said festival premiered with the talented Valletta Baroque Ensemble, who will also close off the festival with Logroscino’s Stabat Mater. The ensemble, which happens to be celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, has not only earned a veritably celebrated reputation but has also been established as the resident ensemble of the festival.
The Valletta Baroque Festival was borne with the scope of celebrating the country’s rich baroque heritage, however, its Founder and Artistic Director, Kenneth Zammit Tabona, is a proud non-purist.
That’s why this year’s edition of the festival will see Pachelbel meet Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, as local rock band ‘The Rock Troupers’ joins forces with five classical musicians to present reworks of rock and baroque classics.
This year, the Valletta Baroque Festival will also feature three lunchtime concerts!
The first, taking place this Thursday 20th January, is titled ‘More than just Ripieno – Baroque Sonatas for Viola’. This concert is set to present a number of works by JS Bach, Jean-Baptiste Loeillett (of London), Felice De’ Giardina, and Gaetano Brunetti, exquisitely performed by violinist Sarah Spiteri and harpsichordist Ramona Zammit Formosa.
On Friday 21st January, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra’s (MPO) principle flutist will present ‘The Leipzig Circle’, a spending lunchtime recital that explores the connections between baroque greats G.P. Telemann, J.S. and C.P.E. Bach, and Sigfried Karg-Elert, the music, and the city that inspired them, Leipzig.
Finally, self-taught organist John Aquilina will present a selection of ‘European Baroque Organ Music’ from Attaingnant, Cabanilles, Sweelinck, and Frescobaldi, amongst other composers on Monday 24th January.
The carefully chosen concert locations play a crucial role in the festival, which ultimately celebrates in equal parts both baroque venues and music.
Teatru Manoel, one of the oldest working theatres in the world, is serving as the prestigious festival’s main venue. Other venues include baroque and historical landmarks like the St John’s Co-Cathedral and the Archaeology Museum.
Although smaller, the 2022 edition of the Valletta Baroque Festival promises a veritable local feast of uplifting baroque music, served at a wonderful selection of splendid baroque venues.
The Valletta Baroque Festival is produced by Festivals Malta in collaboration with Teatru Manoel and Visit Malta and will take place from 18th to 28th January 2022. For tickets and more information, visit www.vallettabaroquefestival.mt. All Valletta Baroque Festival events are in observation of all COVID-19 measures and in accordance with the latest public health guidelines.