REQUIEM MASS OF ORLANDE DE LASSUS
On the 8th April, Cappella Sanctae Catharinae will be presenting the Requiem Mass of Orlande de Lassus at the Church of St Mark (Tal-Agostinjani) in Rabat.
The concert, held on the eve of Palm Sunday, will feature a cappella polyphonic choral music appropriate for the start of Holy Week. Lassus’ Missa Pro Defunctis for four voices was written in 1578, and is possibly one of the last Requiem masses to use a pre-Tridentine setting, as is attested by the use of the unusual Gradual Si Ambulem. The work will be interspersed with other short polyphonic pieces from the 16th Century that compliment this choral masterpiece.
St Mark’s Church was designed by Girolamo Cassar and is considered as a prototype for the Order’s Conventual Church of St John in Valletta. The Priory, situated alongside the church, was designed by Andrea Belli, and is considered a Baroque architectural gem.
The concert will help to raise funds for the restoration of a set of 19th carved gilt statues of the Apostles. These statues, which were commissioned to adorn the main altar on high feasts, were made by none other than the famed artist Carlo Darmanin in 1894. This set is unusual because Darmanin had produced original designs for these, rather than adopting the traditional iconography based on the Lateran set used for such statues. This project forms part of a much bigger ongoing restoration project at the Augustinian Priory in Rabat, which includes the recently restored façade of the church.
The concert starts at 7.30pm and lasts around an hour. Entrance is free, but there will be a retiring collection in aid of the restoration project currently underway at St Mark’s Church.