Home > Solo instrument > Gozo Cathedral ('Maltese Islands Suite')

Gozo Cathedral ('Maltese Islands Suite')

Composer
PHILIP R BUTTALL
Publisher
Difficulty
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
Duration
2 minutes
Genre
Classical music
Instrumentation
Solo instrument
Instrumental parts
Not available

The original inspiration for the Maltese Islands Suite came from two of my piano students, Ralph and Reuben Jones, whose mother is Maltese, and who lent me some books about the island, where I’ve now spent two holidays The four-movement suite was therefore initially intended for the younger pianist. However, rather like Schumann’s Kinderszenen, advanced players may hopefully find something to enjoy here, too.

Just before Christmas, 2004, I was delighted to receive an email from Sharon Gauci (see photo), of Senglea, Malta, who had seen the suite whilst browsing the former SibeliusMusic, and asked whether she could give the world premiere of the work on Malta itself! It goes without saying that I immediately got back to say how thrilled I would be, if this were to happen, and I’ve subsequently dedicated the Maltese Islands Suite to Sharon (or ’Shar’, to her friends!). Sharon has since moved to the UK, where she is now teaching.

Gozo Cathedral

Legato playing is essential here in the third piece from the suite, as the soundscapes sets to capture a picture of the cathedral on the smaller island of Gozo. Some ornamentation is used in the melodic line, and a gently rippling 4/4, with the quavers divided 3+3+2, helps present the overall calm and significance of the cathedral in an islands with very strong religious beliefs.

The whole Suite is also available from Score Exchange at a discounted price.

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