VIAF 2015

The Second World Premiere for the VIAF 2015 Inaugural Concert …

So, today I will tell you something about the second world premiere that will be heard this Wednesday during the Inaugural Concert of VIAF 2015.

I did tell you yesterday that Joseph Vella, our Artistic Director, has a habit of seeing things when others don’t. This is commonly known as ‘vision’ (in direct opposition to ‘sight.’) Well, this time what Vella saw was the potential in a group of wonderful poems written by Alistair Chalmers. Although the context and time when he first read these poems was a very sad one, nonetheless, an artist has the talent to change a moment of grief into one of opportunity. The sheer beauty of the poems, with their deep melancholic tinge, gentle irony, and youthful lyricism inspired Vella to compose yet another Song Cycle, this time for Soprano and Orchestra. Dust on the Path op. 138, as the Song Cycle is called (which is also the title of a published book of poetry by Alistair Chalmers) will be sung by Malta’s leading soprano, Miriam Cauchi. These five ravishing gems depict the ups and downs of a life brimming with expectation, promise, wonder, disillusionment, and profound sadness. Such is the profundity of thought that it belies the relative youth of the poet: it is, rather, the mature poetry of a life lived to the full.

Dust on the Path op. 138 is Joseph Vella’s 7th song cycle and here, the composer manifests his unique and extraordinary understanding of the voice. While there are moments when this vocal instrument blends seamlessly with the rest of the orchestral texture, Vella’s instinctive empathy with the voice enables him to bring out the beauty, expressiveness, and uniqueness that mark out this instrument as most precious. Melody is never far from the surface, and his wonderful orchestration brings out both the technical and the lyrical powers of his idiosyncratic idiom.

Miriam Cauchi needs no introduction and her reputation as a singer endowed with a beautiful, rich and expressive voice, together with sound musicianship needs no defending. Having acquitted herself most admirably in leading operatic roles such as those of Desdemona (Otello), Violetta (La Traviata), Gilda (Rigoletto), Liù (Turandot, etc etc., she is equally adept at tackling Lieder and Oratorio.

The performance of Dust on the Path op. 138 is made possible through the ADRC Trust. It will see the participation of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Joseph Vella.

We just can’t wait!