Date(s) - 16 Nov 2021
A Beethoven Recital
Concert by Francis Camilleri
Date: Tuesday 16 November 2021
Venue: Courtyard of the Malta Society of Arts,
Palazzo de La Salle, 219, Republic Street, Valletta
The year 2020 was supposed to be a celebration of Beethoven as the world prepared to mark the 250th anniversary of his birth. However, with the onset of the pandemic, most concerts were cancelled or postponed with the result that the planned celebrations had to take a step back. That said, the universality of Beethoven’s music is such that he does not really need any anniversary to celebrate his life and music. With that in mind, this concert will be dedicated to his piano sonatas, perhaps his most important cycle among his oeuvre.
The three sonatas that will be played during the concert are all distinctive in their own manner: the op. 27 no. 1 which opens this recital is the companion piece to the celebrated Moonlight sonata (op. 27 no. 2). Beethoven struck out on new paths with his two opus 27 sonatas, each of which he called a ‘sonata quasi una fantasia’. Both of them, in particular the second sonata were destined for immortality. The recital concludes with the famous D minor sonata op. 31 no. 2, ‘The Tempest’. The ‘Tempest Sonata’ was conceived when Beethoven was agonising over his increasing deafness. It was obvious to him that his affliction was getting worse and total silence was his fate. While in Heiligenstadt, outside Vienna, Beethoven wrote a heartbreaking letter to his brothers informing them of his affliction and defending his reticence in socialising with others. It was in this period that Beethoven composed the ‘Tempest Sonata’. It is beautifully abstract and emotionally powerful.
Francis James Camilleri formally commenced his pianoforte studies with Lucia Micallef and continued under the tuition of Karen Briscoe, while also taking regular lessons with Prof Vanessa Latarche at the Royal College of Music, London. He graduated from the University of Malta in piano performance under the tuition of Michael Laus and participated in master classes led by John Lill, Mikhail Pethukov, and Young-Choon Park, amongst others. He also had coaching in harmony and counterpoint from Joseph Vella, Malta’s leading composer. Francis is a member of the Laudate Pueri Choir and the Victoria International Arts Festival.