Rhythmii Vitae (2012) is a tribute to the Maltese artist Antonio Sciortino (1879-1947). This orchestral work was inspired by his fine bronze sculpture bearing the same name, and which today is housed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta, Malta. The work was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1924, and immediately proved popular, with copies of the work being sold in both Europe and America.
The sculpture shows a man and a woman standing back to back with arms open in a vibrant dance pose. The male figure is the more rigid one with his arms wide open and his back straight. On the other hand, the female figure has a curved posture which is in direct opposition to the male dancer. The work captures the energy and tension that exists between the two figures. The outer rhythmic sections, underpinned by an ostinato on woodblocks, represent the masculine element of the sculpture. The textures used are very clear-cut, and are inspired directly by the Art Deco style in which Sciortino worked. This contrasts with the more lyrical and lush middle section, which relates to the feminine element.
Rhythmii Vitae was premiered by the MPO under the baton of Kaspar Zehnder at the Teatru Manoel, Valletta on Friday 27th May 2016.