The Valletta Antiphonary (2017) is a collection of five choral antiphons each related to one of the five major feasts celebrated in Valletta. It is an exploration of the deeper meaning of the ‘antiphon’ within the context of the Maltese festa. The antiphon is more than simply a festive hymn attached to a particular feast. It is a cultural marker for the community, and the antiphon is just as important as the image of the saint being celebrated or the church where that devotion is centred.

The Valletta Antiphonary explores the antiphon tradition within Valletta, the place where the  traditional antiphon started. The musical rivalry between the Pauline faction (represented by the cappella Nani) and the Dominican faction (represented by the cappella Bugeja) was an important factor in the shaping of both these feasts in the early 19th century. They set the tone for the operatic style that was then emulated across Malta.

These antiphons are written for a cappella choir thus departing from the operatic and orchestral tradition that is predominant within the genre. There is a deeper attention to the text of these antiphons – St Dominic taking care of the poor, St Paul the preacher of Truth, St Augustine as the consolation of his devotees, and the magnificent hymn to the Virgin that is Flos Carmeliand the dramatic biblical account of the proclamation of St John the Baptist’s birth.

St_John's_Cathedral,Valletta,MaltaNo. 1 – Pie Pater
Feast of St Dominic, Basilica of Our Lady of Porto Salvo
1st Sunday in August
Male Choir (TTBarB)

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No. 2 – Sancte Paule
Feast of St Paul, Collegiate Church of St Paul
10th February
Male Choir (TTBarB)

No. 3 – Sancte Pater Augustine
Feast of St Augustine, Parish Church of St Augustine
3rd Sunday in September
Male Choir (TTBarB)

No. 4 – Flos Carmeli
Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Sanctuary Basilica of Our Lady of Mt Carmel
16th July
Soprano solo and Male Choir (TTBarB)

No. 5 – Ingresso Zacharia
Feast of St John the Baptist, St John’s Co-Cathedral
24th June
Double Choir (SATB.SATB)

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