International Critical Acclaim of Vella’s “Rebbieħa”

The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) has just concluded with flying colours its Valletta 2018 International Tour. As part of the November/December 2018 tour, MPO opted to play Maestro Joseph Vella`s “Rebbieħa” in different venues across the US and Russia. These included the prestigious Verzian Hall, Kimmel Centre for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia); Carnegie Hall (New York); Grand Hall, Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory (Moscow) and the Mariinsky Theatre (Saint Petersburg), venues where artists of international fame and calibre like Rubinstein, Horowitz and Caruso performed in past years.

Maestro Joseph Vella`s composition received ravishing comments by the specialised press. Following the Carnegie Hall performance, George Grella in the “New York Classical Review” acknowledges the “shine of the thinking and playing in Vella’s Rebbieha”, describing the “enjoyable work” as “a dramatic overture with energy, imagination and an individual voice”. Vella, according to Grella, enhances the music`s quality by positioning himself “somewhere between Ralph Vaughan Williams and Shostakovich”.

On his part, Jon Sobel (Publisher/Executive Editor of “Blogcritics”, as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section) elaborates – following the Philadelphia performance – how “Rebbieħa” recalls the nation’s many casualties of war. In Sobel`s own words, “the much-esteemed Vella, who died earlier this year, was one of the country’s cultural leaders for decades………..he would surely have been delighted that the orchestra’s first U.S. concerts are opening with his single-movement “Rebbieħa,”

“Rebbieħa” (Opus 45) – a 12-minute-long symphonic poem – is one of Vella`s most popular orchestral works. It was composed in 1986 and is also available on CD.