ABOUT WICKED MUSIC PEOPLE
Wicked Music People (WMP) seek to provide a platform in
Kuala Lumpur for the performance of early music (vocal and
instrumental music of the late Renaissance and the Baroque).
We use period instruments where possible, and are guided
by modern sensibilities and a commitment to freedom of
expression while remaining true to the music. We aim to
spread our love for early music in Malaysia, making it truly accessible.
The group started in January 2017, playing small, intimate concerts at the
Wicked Pancake Parlour, a humble space above the Yellow Brick Road café in
Damansara Heights. Over the years, we have taken our performances to diverse
venues- from cafes, temples, churches and heritage warehouses, to concert halls
such as the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas.
To date, WMP have hosted more than 30 events, ranging from baroque music
concerts, outreach demonstrations & performances to workshops and collaborative
efforts with other music groups and educational institutions. We have also been
featured in festivals such as OperaKUL and the George Town Festival. One of our
proudest moments to date is building our own harpsichord, which was completed
earlier this year!
For more information, follow our wicked adventures here:
Facebook and Instagram handle: @wickedmusicpeople
Or write to us at [email protected]
Copies of Ibrahim Aziz’ debut
solo album Risonanze are
available for sale at this recital.
For enquiries, please speak to
one of us after the event!
2 Wwas perhaps the Classical 7
OLFGANG AMADEUS Unlike Vivaldi, Mozart succeeded in
About the composers MOZART (1767–1791) being appointed Imperial Composer
to the Habsburg Emperor under
popularly known work, but Händel was era’s greatest child prodigy, writing Antonio Salieri who was Imperial
also a master of opera and wrote a large his first symphony at the age of eight Kappellmeister, but his life and career
number of works for theatres such as and performing for the royal houses were cut short by illness in 1791.
Covent Garden (now the Royal Opera of Europe not long after. In such a Contrary to popular belief (caused
House) and the King’s Theatre. “The brief lifetime (like Purcell, he died at partly perhaps by the film Amadeus),
Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” is a well- the age of 35), Mozart contributed Mozart did not die impoverished.
known work and comes from his oratorio an enormous amount to the musical He was indeed buried in a common
Solomon which premiered at the Covent life of Europe and the world through grave—namely, a grave for common
Garden Theatre on 17 March 1749. The his many works, ranging for operas, people and not aristocrats—and
story at this point concerned the visit of symphonies, and grand choral works amongst the mourners was Salieri
the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, to chamber works, his solo keyboard who, despite their professional rivalry,
and she has undertaken a long and sonatas that are so well known to piano was by many accounts a friend of
dangerous journey to his court in order students the world over. Mozart’s.
to learn more of his great wisdom.
GEORG G.F. Händel
INNOCENTI ALBERTI (C. 1535-
FRIEDRICH 1615) was both in Treviso, northern
HÄNDEL (1685–1759) was Italy, to a family of musicians.
born in the Duchy of Magdeburg Now described as a minor composer
in the same year as J.S. Bach and of the Renaissance, Alberti worked as
Domenico Scarlatti (with whom he had a music instructor for the Accademia
a celebrated musical ‘duel’, playing better degli Elevati of Padua during the three
than Scarlatti on the organ but not as short years of its existence from 1557-
well on the harpsichord). Händel was 1560. The ‘accademie’ were part of the
educated in Germany and took a degree constellation of learned societies that
in the liberal arts at the University of formed the backbone of the Renaissance
Halle before travelling to Italy and, through the study of the humanities
eventually, gaining appointment as under the patronage of powerful secular
kappellmeister (music director) to Prince personalities such as the Medici and
Georg Ludwig of Hannover. When the Strozzi families in Florence (one of the
Prince was crowned George I of England most famous of these—the Florentine
Händel followed the court to London, Camerata—was where the Baroque
where he enjoyed immense success as a movement began). It is unclear why The famed Mozart family. Wolfgang Amadeus is in the centre at the keyboard. To his left is his
composer. the Accademia degli Elevati dissolved, sister Maria Anna (nicknamed Nannerl), who was an excellent harpsichordist and pianist, but was
The ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ from his but Alberti then went to work for the prevented from advancing her career because she was a woman. To Mozart’s left is his father Leop-
oratorio Messiah is perhaps his most powerful Este family in Ferrara. old, who was a prominent violinist and author of some of the chief texts used by period performers
Alberti published several collections today. The portrait on the wall is of Mozart’s mother, Anna Maria.
of madrigals, copies of which were
6 Antonio originally trained for the acquired by the Englishman Henry 3
priesthood and was ordained in 1703, Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, during his Royal, and was good friends with
Antonio Vivaldi earning the nickname “Il Prete Rossi” travels in Italy in the 1560s, thus saving other leading composers of the day
(the Red Priest) on account of his Alberti’s Pavan and Galliard, and such as Thomas Morley and Orlando
ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678– red hair. However, Vivaldi had to be other works, for posterity (the music Gibbons. Tomkins was himself a
1741) was a great Venetian excused from clerical duties due to ill is currently preserved at the British composer of church music as well as
violinist and composer who health (asthma) and was assigned to Library). madrigals, consort, and instrumental
is popular today for his Four Seasons teach music at the conservatory of the music. He was very conservative in
concerti. Vivaldi’s father, Giovanni Pio Ospedale della Pietà instead. This THOMAS TOMKINS terms of style, preferring the language
Battista Vivaldi, was a barber but as also was one of the four charitable Ospedale (1572-1656) was born in of the Renaissance to that of the
a talented violinist who enjoyed close Grandi or “Great Hospices”, and the Pembrokeshire, Wales, to a baroque.
connections with leading musicians Pietà (the oldest, founded in 1346) famous musical family that originally
and music teachers of the day, such took in orphans of all kinds. Vivaldi came from Cornwall. His father (also A Royalist, Tomkins had a hard
as Giovanni Legrenzi, the director of composed many of his works for the called Thomas) was a chorister and time during the Civil War. In 1643
music at St Mark’s Basilica, who may orphans of the Pietà and enjoyed a very organist, and the young Thomas was his house in Worcester was hit by
have been Antonio’s teacher. successful career as a music director, likely a student of the great English cannonball and destroyed most of his
composer, and violinist. Renaissance composer William Byrd belongings. He eventually lost his
before becoming a chorister in the job at Worcester Cathedral when the
Sadly, in later years Vivaldi fell on Chapel Royal and taking a music bishopric was abolished and the choir
hard times as musical tastes changed. He degree at Oxford. He then embarked disbanded. Tomkins fell into poverty
sold many of his prized manuscripts to on a long career as a musician at but fortunately was able to live with his
fund a move to Vienna where he hoped Worcester Cathedral and the Chapel son Nathaniel and wealthy daughter-
to be appointed Imperial Composer to in-law Isabella for the last two years of
Habsburg Emperor Charles VI—who his life.
had been great impressed by Vivaldi—
but unfortunately the Emperor died
not long after Vivaldi arrived, leaving
Vivaldi impoverished, vulnerable, and
sick. He died the following year.
A copy of an original manuscript by
Vivaldi. This one shows the opening
page of his Chamber Concerto in D
Worcester Cathedral, where Thomas Tomkins was organist for some five decades.
compositional style was marked by and, in that same year, he became
lavish harmonies and virtuosity, the organist at Westminster Abbey.
with strong influences from the
major northern Italian composers of In 1682 (at the age of just 23) he
his generation: Claudio Monteverdi, succeeded Edward Lowe as organist
Francesco Cavalli, as well as at the Chapel Royal, and by this
Valentini. Today, scholars believe time he was already gaining great
that a large portion of Bertali’s own fame for his compositions: odes,
manuscript works has been lost. songs, anthems, instrumental
However, extensive copies were music, as well as his landmark opera
made by his contemporary Pavel Dido and Aeneas. Sadly, Purcell
Vejvanovsky (who was kapellmeister died very young—and in mysterious
at the Cathedral of Olomouc in circumstances—at the age of 35.
what is now the Czech Republic),
although many of these have not
received much attention yet. His
beautiful Chaconne is, of course,
Antonio Bertali and exception.
NTONIOAVerona and was a student
Hof Stefano Bernardi, who was ENRY PURCELL (1659–
(1605-1669) was born in 1695) is regarded today
as one of the greatest
maestro di cappella (music director) English composers, and his style—
of Verona Cathedral. Bernardi was which incorporated elements of
later appointed kapellmeister to the Italian and French baroque—
the young Habsburg Archduke Karl came to define the English baroque
Joseph, and it is likely that this as a whole. Born in Westminster,
connection landed Bertali a job as a London (in what would later become
musician to the Habsburg Emperor the slum of Devil’s Acre), Purcell
Ferdinand II in Vienna, in 1624. showed an early talent for music
Bertali progressed steadily at court, and was reputed to have written his
receiving the honour or composing first composition at the age of nine.
a cantata celebrating the marriage of Through his uncle Thomas, who
the future Ferdinand III, as well as was a Gentleman of His Majesty’s
several other special works. In 1645, Chapel, Purcell gained a place as a
he succeeded Giovanni Valentini as chorister in the Chapel Royal while
Imperial Kappellmeister and held attending Westminster School. By
the post until his death in 1669. 1679 he was contributing pieces for
Bertali was famed for promoting publication in collections of sheet
Italian opera in Vienna, and his own music produced by John Playford A page from a relatively modern copy of Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas, which he wrote in
1689 (or possibly as early as 1683). It was one of the first major operas in the English language.