This evening’s concert by the Royal Conservatoire Brass of Glasgow was under the distinguished patronage of H.L. Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo, who expressed his great satisfaction and delight at the wonderful performance and the stunning venue in which it was performed, namely, on the roof-top of Il-Ħaġar Heart of Gozo, the newly-inaugurated museum in the heart of Victoria. Graciously encouraging the organizers of the Victoria International Arts Festival to host more concerts in this new venue, H.L. had nothing but praise for the well-organized event which was made possible by the full co-operation of the museum’s curator, Rev. Mgr Joseph Farrugia, the Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria and the indefatigable energy of a group of young helpers who took care of all the logistics.
Now for the music!!! And what a performance that was! The ensemble, comprising 10 brass players (trumpets, horn, trombones, bass trombone and tuba) dazzled with every single piece they played. Moving seamlessly from arrangements of works by Renaissance masters, on to Spanish and Scottish works, the ensemble betrayed not only individual technical prowess and virtuosity but excellently coordinated ensemble playing, blending harmoniously (not only literally!), creating a wonderful sound the likes of which is not likely to be heard any time soon on the islands.
The roof-top was packed to full capacity, with more than 200 patrons struggling for space, and the reception they gave the performers was a resounding one throughout! The stunning venue, with views of St George’s Basilica, the Citadel and a bird’s eye view of the Gozo is breath-taking and the VIAF organizers are working on H.L.’s cue and more concerts will definitely be organized here in future editions.
The variety, colour and diversity of our Festival is from year to year becoming more enhanced and marked. From orchestral concerts, to chamber ensembles, singers and a brass ensemble, so far it was been just wonderful! And there are still 27 more concerts to go!!!