Wednesday, 23 November 2022

O Magnum Mysterium, The Grand Christmas Concert

by Stefan Attard

Magnium FB InstaPost 1080x1080pxThis Christmas, Schola Cantorum Jubilate (SCJ) will take its audience on a powerful journey right into the heart of the nativity story. Set within the beauty and theological opulence of Ta’ Pinu National Shrine on 29 December 2022 at 19.30, SCJ’s Grand Christmas Concert is a feast of voice and music, intertwined with faith and the peace and joy synonymous with the season.

“It’s difficult to express in words what is going to happen during this concert”, says Choir Leader Stefan Attard. “One has to be there as what we are planning will make an impact on those present”, he continues. “We can promise a shower of emotions through a combination of different elements: the music, the ambience of the Neo-Romanesque shrine, and the artistic and contemporary effects created specifically for this concert - a plethora of emotions that are bound to fill one’s heart with the true Christmas spirit!”

In fact, the concert borrows its name from O Magnum Mysterium, a piece in the repertoire with text originating from the Matins of Christmas in the Roman Breviary. Apart from this magnificent piece, the repertoire includes popular carols and other less popular ones that narrate the Christmas story through music, aptly described by Marouska Attard, Choir Conductor, as “a choral feast”. “The repertoire includes Morten Lauridsen’s meaningful peace O Magnum Mysterium and Philip Stopford’s Lully Lulla Lullay, an a capella piece chosen to mark the feast day of the Holy Innocents, as well as Dan Forrest’s Shalom and Kim Anderson’s The Cradle Hymn. These pieces are still relatively new to a Maltese audience but will surely deepen the musical spectrum of our listeners. We will also be including John Rutter’s Joy To The World and his newly composed piece Joseph’s Carol”, explains Marouska.

The concert will also include pieces by local composers: “One cannot not mention Paul Portelli’s new composition in Maltese, X’Qed Taħseb Maria, exquisitely written for our female section”, adds Marouska.

Together with the Cordia String Quartet, the SCJ Adults’ choir and SCJ Teenage Boys Singers will be accompanied by pianist Anna Magrin and organist Joseph Camilleri, all under the direction of Marouska Attard, with the addition of pieces performed a cappella.

O Magnum Mysterium is set to take the audience on an acoustic exploration inside a magnificent shrine, with diverse voice projections that, together with the unique architecture, merge to create an unforgettable experience. Come and live the most powerful story ever told through an expertly curated repertoire of sacred music. Entrance is free and everyone is welcome.

O Magnum Mysterium is being organised in collaboration with the Cultural Heritage Directorate within the Ministry for Gozo.

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