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This is the ninth compact disc issued as a result of the initiative of APS Bank of Malta to record a series of CDs with sacred music composed by Maltese composers (released on the Gega New label). The previous CDs presented works of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. This release takes us back to the 19th century and to one of Malta’s most prominent composers – Pietro Paolo Bugeja. He had initial musical studies in Malta and then went on to Naples to continue them in the Concervatorio di Saint ’Onofrio a Capuana between 1791 and 1797. It was in Naples that he wrote his first grand mass for the liturgy of St. Ivo’s Church. In 1798 he returned to Malta and was assistant to Francesco Azopardi, metrolpolitan maestro di capella at St. John’s Cathedral in Valletta. On Azopardi’s death he was selected to succeed him as maestro both of Mdina Cathedral and St. John’s Cathedral.
Bugeja was a composer, conductor and teacher. This versatile activity contributed a lot to the development of his style as a composer.
Pietro Paolo Bugeja wrote Messa solenne in 1827, mainly to be performed in the Cathedral. A very important element of the Messa solenne is its concise form. It was one of the 19th century’s best-known works. Besides it Bugeja also composed four funeral masses, 20 medium masses, 30 psalms, diverse hymns, antiphons and responses. His orchestral works include 9 sinfonie, probably written for church use, since contemporary norm required a sinfonia to precede important liturgical rites. For this purpose, Bugeja also utilized the sinfonia composed for his oratorio Gioas re di Guida – a large-scale orchestral work, written in the ‘seria’ style. According to Professor Richard Divall of the Faculty of Music, University of Melbourne, “the music of Pietro Paolo Bugeja is unjustly neglected, for the standard of his vocal and orchestral writing is very fine indeed. Stylistically Bugeja looks both back in time to the neo classicism of Gluck, with whom he has a stylistic affinity, and forward to the music of Spontini.”


  • Track Listing

    MESSA SOLENNE per soli, coro e orchestra (1827)
    [1] Kyrie 8’05’’
    [2] Gloria in excelsis Deo 3’05’’
    [3] Laudamus te 3’05’’
    [4] Gratias agimus tibi 3’42’’
    [5] Domine Deus 3’45’’
    [6] Qui tollis 3’18’’
    [7] Quoniam Tu Solus Santus 2’57’’
    [8] Cum Sancto Spirito 7’23’’
    [9] Credo 9’16’’
    [10] Sanctus 2’39’’
    [11] Benedictus 3’01’’
    [12] Agnus Dei 5’40’’
    ORATORIO 'Gioas re di Giuda (1813)
    [13] Sinfonia in re maggiore 8’46’’
    DDD 64’49’’


  • Performers

    Anita Vella Bondin – soprano; Connie Francis Zerafa - mezzo soprano; Joseph Aquilina – tenor; Anthony Montebello – bass

    The Mirabitur Choir; The Jubal Orchestra

    Rev. John Galea - conductor

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