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Benigno Zerafa
1726 - 1804
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B. Zerafa
Benigno Zerafa (25/08/1726 - 20/03/1804), a Maltese composer, born in Rabat. The outstanding (though still insufficiently recognized) development of Maltese sacred music in the mid-eighteenth century culminated in the works of Benigno Zerafa (1726–1804), a highly talented priest-composer who served as maestro di cappella at the Cathedral of St Paul at Mdina from 1744 to 1786. Zerafa’s entire collection of sacred vocal works, with one exception, was discovered in 1969 by the then-curator of the Archives of Mdina, Mgr Rev John Azzopardi. The collection, comprising, among others, masses, Credo settings, psalms, graduals, offertories, litanies, hymns, sequences, antiphons, Holy Week responsories and motets, was transferred to the archives of the cathedral, where it was professionally catalogued and shelved. One work, a recently discovered Requiem Mass for four voices and organ, is preserved in the Archivio Crypta Sancti Pauli (CSP) at Rabat. The compositions, numbering 148, are divided into two categories – (1) for voices and instruments (104), and (2) for voices and organ (44) – and range, in scoring, from works for eight, five, four, three and two voices, to others for solo voice.
Composed in:1744
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
This requiem mass (1744) is for four voices, chorus, orchestra and organ.
Contributor:Tassos Dimitriadis