Christmas Music from Malta
The concert by the choir and orchestra of the Kölner Akademie honoring Girolamo Abos was a highlight of the Valletta International Baroque Festival 2015 in Malta. This composer born exactly three hundred years ago in Malta and active in Naples is as good as unknown in Germany – and not only here. This now will change with the release of this concert this month on cpo. The Kölner Akademie conductor Michael Alexander Willens and the musicologist Frederick Aquilina were just the right persons with the right contacts and with the right attitude and experience for enlisting themselves in the cause of this Maltese composer, whose works »have not been heard for centuries« (Tabona). The »Magnificat,« »Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel,« and »Messa a due cori« enable listeners to immerse themselves in the extremely fascinating world of Abos and the thoroughbass. This is more than rewarding inasmuch as Abos is a genuine discovery and in every way a match for his Italian contemporaries. This composer’s works are highly melodic, elegant to highly spirited in temperament, and above all they render audible the experience of musical delight. The wonderfully beautiful soprano Maïlys de Villoutreys and Mauro Borgioni in the bass part represent a second discovery.