Tour to Austria

Vienna, Linz, Salzburg, Melk and Göttweig

10th to 17th September 2009
Tuesday 15th September - Cardinal Schönborn / Haus der Musik / St. Peter's

It was rather a hectic day…but surely one not to eliminate from the mind. At 9.30am Silvana Sultana together with the CVC Crew (Alvin Scicluna and Christopher Pisani) left the hotel and met Doris Trinker from the Vienna Tourist Board. They walked through the Hofburg quarter and found a tranquil area overlooking the park for an interview. She was pleased to welcome Schola Cantorum Jubilate in Vienna, saying that it was one of the 50 choirs which this year visited the Capital of Music. At the same time of this encounter, the choristers walked from Stadt Opera to Albertina, the Horse Riding School, the Hofburg Quarter, the Burg Theatre and finally reaching Stephansplatz where they met again with the television crew. It was 11am and they all rushed together to the Erzbischöfliches Palais or better Cardinal Christoph Schönborn's residence. This Dominican Cardinal is of papal age and is mostly know for his theological writings. It happened to be also his 14 th anniversary as bishop. Can Joseph Sultana, Silvana Sultana and Stefan Attard were allowed to get into his offices while the rest of the group remained in the courtyard. On meeting the choir's delegation, the Cardinal had kind words about Malta and its Christianity. He looked out of the window to listen to the choristers who sang ‘Allelulia' (Gabrieli) and imparted his benediction. He listened attentively to the choir's programme in Vienna and excused himself for not being able to attend for the concert at St. Peter's since he had other commitments at Stephansdom. Stefan Attard presented the cd ‘Jubilate' to His Eminence together with some brochures concerning the choir, a book about Malta and a picture of Our Lady of Victories venerated in the Basilica of Marija Bambina in Xagħra. In return he gave them some of his theology books translated in English. After such a moving moment, the group went to the Haus Der Musik which is a modern museum with a very interesting presentation of all possible sounds in the world. There are specific rooms dedicated to Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Mahler. One particular room includes an interactive screen where an orchestra plays according to the direction of a ‘newly appointed maestro'. This attracted the choristers and most of them gave it a try, resulting in receiving insults from the orchestra members. However, Fabian Cini and Jessica Gatt managed to direct the whole piece, receiving the justified acclamation. The tour ended with a concert by the Schola Cantorum Jubilate in the museum's courtyard. It started with a world premier of a Piano Sonata No. 4 composed and played by Alex Vella Gregory. This was highly appreciated by the audience and by the member of the Schola Cantorum. The next part included some solo performances by Marouska Attard and Philip Attard. They were both accompanied by Alex Vella Gregory on the piano. Marouska interpreted: ‘La Pastoura Als Camps' - Chants d'Auvergne (Canteloube), ‘Una Donna a quindici anni' - Aria from ‘Cosi Fan Tutte' (Mozart) and ‘In Uomini in Soldati' – Aria from ‘Cosi Fan Tutte' (Mozart). Philip Attard played: ‘Sicilienne et Tarentelle' (Demillac), 'Andante et Allegro' (Chailleux) and ‘Variations sur un theme espagnol' (Genin) on the saxophone. The last part of the concert included the choral part. The choir interpreted: ‘The Long Day Closes' (Sullivan), ‘As torrents in summer' (Elgar) and ‘Pacem in Maribus' (Camilleri). It was nearly 3pm so everyone went for a late lunch. The soloists had a short rehearsal at St. Peter's Church for the evening concert. The concert at Peterskirche, the most famous church for concerts in Vienna, started at 7pm. Rev. Spalek, the responsible for the church, gave an interview to the Television Crew and was very friendly with Maltese group. The concert opened with Ewald Gargitter on the organ who played 'Prelude in A Major' Op. 607 (Czerny). The organist accompanied also soprano Marouska Attard with her interpretation of ‘Is-Sliema' (Portelli) and ‘Oh had I Jubal's lyre' from Joshua (Handel). Gargitter's other accompaniment was with Philip Attard who played the ‘Adoration' (Borowski) and ‘Allelulja' (Mozart) on the saxophone alto. Both pieces were arranged by Johnson. The choral part included: ‘O Bone Jesu' (Palestrina), ‘Adoramus Te' (Palestrina), ‘Christus Factus Est' (Debono), ‘Jesu Dulcis Memoria' (Portelli), ‘Locus iste' (Bruckner), ‘O Sacrum Convivium' (Bartolucci) and ‘Nadurawk ja Ħobż tas-Sema' (Caruana). The concert ended with Ewald Gargitter on the organ: ‘Nun danket alle Gott', op. 65, No. 59 (Karg-Elert). As encore the choir performed ‘Ave Maria' by Arcadelt. After the concert, the group went for dinner and afterwards for a walk near the Rauthaus. They ended the day with a coffee and a Sacher Torte from the five star Hotel Sacher, where it knows its origin.

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