In 2007 APS Bank of Malta launched a competition for a sacred work setting the Latin texts of the three canticles found in the Gospel of St. Luke or a song cycle setting seven poems written by Ruzar Briffa (1906-1963), a well-known and loved Maltese poet, on the theme of Ghanjiet ta' Bniedem Solitarju (Songs of a Solitary Man).This competition gave the Maltese composers a unique opportunity and the international jury had to choose from dozens of scores, which proved to be quite a difficult task. The jury awarded a first prize to Albert Pace’s song cycle on the poem by Briffa, which was released on CD by Gega New in 2009 (GR 07) and a special jury prize to Joseph Sammut’s oratorio setting the canticles in the Gospel of St. Luke.The composer Sammut developed the initial task by adding a Prelude and Finale to the three hymns. According to him “… these added parts made the work complete and gave me the possibility to finish the composition with a climax that, I hope, audiences will find memorable”. Colin Touchin (UK), one of the adjudicators, appraised the work highly: “… the style is flowing in all parts with well considered shapes and the parts are singable and playable, and rewarding to rehearse and perform. The harmonic selection is fluent within a relatively narrow style - charming and attractive without being too adventurous. The rhythmic patterns adopted are conventional but provide sufficiently frequent variations; sections are imbued with individual character. Overall the work is effectively scored and well balanced.”Gega New Music House is APS bank’s partner in this initiative to record and release works by Maltese composers and currently the series include 12 compact discs with music of the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. This release is yet another CD to this series that the admirers of Maltese music will add to their collection.
- Recorded on 9-13th November 2010 in the Chapel of the Porziuncola House of the Franciscan Fathers, Bahar ic Caghak, Malta
JOSEPH SAMMUT · IL-KANTICI TA’ SAN LUQA
The Canticles of Luke the Evangelist Prelude 6’30’’ Canticle of Mary: Magnificat 6’35’’ Canticle of Simeon: Nunc dimittis 6’55’’ Canticle of Zachary: Benedictus Dominus 18’05’’ Finale: Alleluia 6’54’’DDD 45’00’’
Claire Massa, Charles Vincenti
Mirabitur Choir – Female Section Malta Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Joseph Sammut