Recently I finished working on my opus 130. “A Prayer for Unity in Diversity” is a major work taking about 60 minutes to perform. The work will be known as ‘The Hyland Mass’ in honour of the New York philanthropist who commissioned the piece. It is scored for S, A, T, B, and Boy Soprano Soli, a mixed SATB Choir and Orchestra. At its core there are the texts of the Ordinary of the Mass, namely Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei. But this will be a Mass with a difference in that each of these liturgical sections will be preceded by a secular poem that naturally leads to the meaning of the sacred texts. These settings are scored for each of the five soloists. To further highlight the ‘diversity’ of the prayer each of these secular texts uses a different language, namely English, Maltese, German, French and Italian. The Ordinary Mass texts will of course be sung in Latin, making a total of 6 different languages used. The work is meant to be performed without a break and hopefully will be premiered in the New Year.
In the meantime I have started work on my opus 131 – “Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra on a theme by Chopin”. It should be finished by the middle of January. The piece will be dedicated to the memory of the late Maria Ghirlando, who was a very good pianist. When her husband Robert approached me and asked me to compose a piece in her memory, involving of course the piano, at first we were toying with the idea of a work on concerto format lines, but then I asked Robert if he knew of a piece that used to be a favourite with Maria. When he said that she used to love to play Chopin’s Prelude No 2, the die was cast and that was the planting of the idea for the Symphonic Variations.
Opus 132 will be a work which I have to compose and premiere during my concert at the Manoel with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (The Composer Conducts) in about 4 months time. Although I have not decided what the format is going to be, chances are that the work will take some semblance to a Concerto for Orchestra.