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A Welcome Insight

Orchestral music by
Charles Camilleri,
reviewed by

Divine Art    ddv24126

Charles Camilleri - Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra - Brian Schembri. © 2008 Divine Art Ltd

Maltese composers are few and among those very much alive and working now, Charles Camilleri (born in 1931) is the best known outside that country, largely because his early musical studies were in Australia, and his career as a composer and conductor was consolidated by long periods spent in Canada and England. In spite of that, his musical allegiances have always been rooted in the country of his birth, its folklore, its traditional music and a great respect for its past composers.

The Overture Classique on this CD is a lively reworking of the overture to the opera Michelange by 18th century Maltese composer Niccolo Isouard who had a significant influence on the development of French music in his time.

Listen -- Overture Classique (track 13, 1:59-2:51)
© 2008 Divine Art Ltd

There is a short Intermezzo from one of Camilleri's operas, Il-Weghda, and Four Legends, a suite of short pieces based on old Maltese historical figures and events. The CD also features some of his best known lighter pieces: the Knights of Malta Suite from a ballet inspired by Maltese manuscripts discovered in Oxford.

Listen -- Overture (Knights of Malta Ballet Suite) (track 1, 0:01-1:05)
© 2008 Divine Art Ltd

Also, vividly colourful pieces like the Village Fest from the Malta Suite.

Listen -- Village Festa (Malta Suite) (track 18, 3:56-5:19)
© 2008 Divine Art Ltd

Camilleri has written three large scale piano concertos, and an earlier excursion into the form produced a Concertino: 'Summer Nights in Malta' for two pianos and orchestra, in the final movement of which is a poignant episode that leads back to the coda.

Listen -- Vivo (Summer Nights in Malta) (track 8, 3:19-4:36)
© 2008 Divine Art Ltd

This well produced and performed CD provides a welcome insight into the range of Camilleri's compositional work.

Copyright © 5 April 2008 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK


Charles Camilleri - Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

ddv24126 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 76'45" 2008 Divine Art Ltd; 1998 Richmond Foundation

Jennifer Micallef, piano; Glen Inanga, piano; Godfrey Mifsud, clarinet; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Brian Schembri, conductor

Charles Camilleri (born 1931): Knights of Malta Ballet Suite (Overture; Court Dance; Air de Branle; Grandmaster's Minuet; Celebration); Concertino No 4 - 'Summer Nights in Malta' (Allegro vivace; Andante; Vivo); Four Legends (The Folk Singer from Birguma; The Watch Maker from Gozo; The Bride of Mosta; Grand Polka March; Overture Classique; Intermezzo from 'Il-Weghda'; Malta Suite (Country Dance; Waltz; Nocturne; Village Festa)




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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular series of shorter CD reviews