Teatru Manoel acquires baroque instruments

Last Updated on Monday, 23 September, 2019 at 1:18 pm by Christian Keszthelyi

Teatru Manoel has recently acquired some valuable and rare instruments left behind by George Debono, the late music instrument builder, according to a press release by the government’s Department of Information (DOI). The collected instruments will be featured in a Teatru Manoel Concert on 13 November. 

“As part of our strategy to further promote culture and arts, Teatru Manoel has put a lot of effort into putting baroque at the foreground of the island’s cultural activity with the Valletta International Baroque Festival and performances throughout the year, not only in Valletta but also around the island,” said Owen Bonnici,  Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government.

These instruments include an 1888 Broadwood piano, which has undergone restoration funded by the Friends of the Manoel. The straight strung piano showcases the different registers of the instrument with clarity. The Friends of the Manoel were represented by Carmen Gatt Baldacchino with two of Mr Debono’s heirs: Marie Cabourdin and Paul Debono in attendance.

Two Viola da Gambas were also acquired. This is a bowed string instrument which is played similarly to a cello and made its first appearance in Europe in the late 15th century, before becoming one of the most widely-used instruments in the Renaissance and Baroque period, says the press release. 

Furthermore, the baroque cello, which is typically larger than a standard cello characterised by a lower sound was also collected, along with two clavichords, a rectangular stringed keyboard instrument largely used in the Late Middle Ages, all the way through the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical Eras.

The Broadwood piano will be the first of the instruments to feature in a Teatru Manoel Concert on Wednesday 13th November at 20:00, with a Mozart Concert by Ensemble DeNote. The concert is supported by the Friends of the Manoel and held in memory of the George Debono.

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