Kosovo`s 15th Anniversary Independence Celebrations
Maestro Vella`s ‘Hyland Mass’ (Opus 130) – a one-hour long mass composed in 2013 – has been included in the calendar of events marking Kosovo`s 15th Anniversary Independence Celebrations. The concert was a great success and well received by the audience that included numerous dignitaries such as the President of Kosovo, the President of Albania, the Ambassador of the USA to Kosovo and the Bishop of Pristina.
The Hyland Mass was commissioned by New Yorker Christopher Hyland, the internationally celebrated textile designer, as a call to peace and unity for people throughout the world. It combines traditional sections of the Latin Mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei) with semi-religious texts as well as passages from the Old Testament, to highlight the universal theme of the work.
The concert was also a fitting tribute to Maestro Vella, this week marking the fifth anniversary of his demise.
The performance of the ‘Hyland Mass’ is another milestone in Family Vella`s endeavours to further promote the music of Maestro Vella, generally considered to be Malta’s leading contemporary composer. It follows other major works that have just been revived, including his two oratorios ‘Rewwixta’ and ‘Il-Belt Rebbieħa’, which were performed in late 2022 during Festivals Malta`s “Three Palaces Early Opera & Music Festival“, as part of Family Vella`s collaboration with Festivals Malta that will also include the post-mortem premiering of Maestro Vella`s opera “Valeriana” in 2024.
Maestro Vella`s Hyland Mass was written for boy soprano, soprano, alto, tenor and bass soloists besides an SATB choir and orchestra. This is the third performance of the Mass, having previously been premiered at St George`s Basilica, Victoria, Gozo in 2013 and subsequently receiving its international premiere at the prestigious St. Patrick’s Cathedral, located in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of New York City, USA, in 2016.
The Pristina concert was under the baton of established Maestro David Hayes, Music Director of the New York Choral Society and Professor at Mannes Music Conservatory, New York. It was supported by amongst others the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports of the Republic of Kosovo, Television Kosovo, Mr. Jim Xhema and family friend Mr. Christopher Hyland, to whom Family Vella extends its warmest gratitude.
Photo Credits: https://www.facebook.com/kosovophilharmonic/ and Mr. Christopher Hyland