30 March–2 April 2017
THE SCRATCH® MAGICAL MALLORCA
Palma de Mallorca
More about this trip
Mallorca is one of five Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, traditionally known by the British as Majorca rather to the exasperation of its Spanish inhabitants. Its popularity as a holiday destination has caused some travellers to view it with caution but – like so many places – it all depends where you go, and we will be avoiding the overcrowded beach resorts. The capital, where we will be based, includes the old city, an area of narrow streets and buildings echoing the island’s Moorish history which features in the first of our optional tours. Other chances to explore include mountain villages, ancient caves, and the stupendous architecture of the cathedral and the Almudaina Palace. Temperatures should be very pleasant (mid-60s), but bring a lightweight waterproof in case of rain, or tuck an umbrella into your bag.
About the music
Vivaldi’s Gloria is a sprightly setting of a text from the Latin Mass – a hymn of praise to the three-person deity, written by Vivaldi when he was employed at the Ospedale della Pietà (a cross between an orphanage and a convent). There was a high standard of music tuition at the Ospedale, and many of Vivaldi’s instrumental works were also written for his pupils there.
In John Rutter’s beautiful setting of the Requiem the Latin text of the Missa pro defunctis is not set in its entirety, the chosen portions being those which underline a theme of light and consolation emerging out of darkness and despair; as with more than one 20th-century Requiem, vernacular texts are interwoven with the traditional Latin. The composer has chosen two psalms associated with the rite of burial (the sombre ‘De profundis’ (Psalm 130) and the serenely confident Psalm 23), and sentences from the Anglican Burial Service, in the incomparably magnificent English of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.
About the performers
Brian Kay, Principal Conductor of The Really Big Chorus, will be musically in charge, and our soloists will be soprano Nardus Williams (who enchanted everyone with her singing during our recent Guernsey trip) and mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons (one of our outstanding quartet of soloists for last year’s Verdi Requiem at the RAH). Accompaniment is provided by the Orquestra de Cambra de Mallorca.
About the concert
Taking place in the impressive surroundings of the Basilica Sant Francesc, the concert starts late (20h30) as is customary in Spanish-speaking countries. Admission is free, and the concert is open to the public, so any non-singing partners/friends of TRBC Members are urged to get to the Basilica in good time to be sure of a seat as we are unlikely to be able to reserve any.