Magnium FB InstaPost 1080x1080px 540x540Ahead of O Magnum Mysterium, the Grand Christmas Concert, SCJ Choir Leader Stefan Attard noted that it is difficult to express in words what will happen on the day.

He was right. O Magnum Mysterium had to be experienced for one to truly appreciate all its nuances.

Featuring Schola Cantorum Jubilate, pianist Anna Magrin, organist Joseph Camilleri and the Cordia String Quartet, and set within the understated beauty of Ta’ Pinu National Shrine, the concert was truly a feast of voice and music, gently intertwined with faith, the peace and joy of the season, but also current realities.

For SCJ’s choristers, musicians and the audience, O Magnum Mysterium was an immersive journey into the emotions that coalesce in the nativity story and the feast of the holy innocents, made more profound by the intricacies of our present individual and societal state of affairs.

Pieces by Lauridsen, Stopford, Forrest, Anderson, Rutter and Portelli, were beautified even further with a generous sprinkling of artistic and contemporary effects created specifically for this concert, creating a unique atmosphere and deep feelings that are not easy to recreate. The concert was announced by the Oracle who announced the O Magnum Mysterium who descended on earth for the salvation of many. The voice overheard was that of Paul Rutland. On the other hand, Marion Scarborough represented Life and all its mysteries. She had two instances where she expressed thoughts and provided challenges to the audience. The script was written by Silvana Sultana who also selected another challenging poem Ho Dipinto la Pace by Talil Solek that was read by Fr Gerald Buhagiar, Rector of Ta’ Pinu.

And on a different note: back when we started our Christmas concerts, now more than two decades ago, we chose intimate locations for our small, but highly appreciative audience. Year on year, we sought new locations to accommodate our growing audience, hence the choice of Ta’ Pinu for this year’s concert. We are beyond grateful for an audience in its hundreds that filled every nook and cranny of the Basilica.

With this in mind, we want to thank you all. Not only for coming in great numbers, but also for truly appreciating the marvellous art of choral music and responding so warmly to the repertoires and events we curate every year.

O Magnum Mysterium, the Grand Christmas Concert was organised with the support of the Cultural Heritage Directorate, Ministry for Gozo.

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