Our second offering in the Feel the Magic 2021 programme took place on Saturday 6 November at Saint Augustine’s Church, where the Chorus Urbanus Productions team was so happy to host our guests to a fantastic journey of Wind Quintet literature that included works from the Baroque, Classical, Neo-Classical and 20th-century eras. This concert was a proof indeed of the Saint Paul’s Metropolitan Orchestra Wind Quintet’s versatility in performing in a variety of styles. The ensemble performed the chosen works with dedication, commitment and technical brilliance.
Dr John Galea, as Artistic Director, made a welcoming speech that outlined the resilience of our reconfigured offerings during 2020 that also sees the gradual return of live performances for 2021 in full observance of Health Department protocols.
The programme opened with the effervescent overture to Mozart’s ‘Die Zauberflöte’ where the original’s orchestral character and quality were never sacrificed in the transcription making it a cohesive and inseparable part of the whole overture’s texture. This was followed by the hugely appealing Concerto No 2 by Antonio Vivaldi (RV522) and the arrangement of Quintet No 1 in B flat major by Giuseppe Cambini, notorious for its cheerful and entertaining music that agreeably transmitted translucent textures and tempos. The versatility of the Quintet was witnessed in the eponymous Waltz No 2 from Jazz Suite by Dmitri Shostakovich and ‘Tahiti Trot’ , the Russian composer’s unique and brilliantly humorous take on ‘Tea for Two’ here arranged for wind quintet, and performed with great gusto.
Ottorino Respighi’s Prelude from ‘The Birds’, written in the neo-classical style and based on French and Italian music from the baroque era and represents an attempt to transcribe birdsong and bird actions into musical notation. And so it did! This was followed by Piazzolla’s ‘Libertango’ and Joe Garland’s ‘In the Mood’ that brought this concert to a rapturous close. The Saint Paul’s Metropolitan Orchestra’s Woodwind Quintet captured every nuance inherent in the chosen programme, resulting thus in a highly polished performance of this exciting and challenging genre.
Feel the Magic 2019-21 acknowledges the generous support of Arts Council Malta, the Gozo Cultural Support Programme and Michael Grech Financial, Saint Augustine’s Priory – Fr Adeodato Schembri and the CVC Media House.