Zerafa (1726-1804)

Denis Ramos: composer

Dixit Dominus a due cori in G major, Z95 (1756)
Mov. II, ‘Virgam virtutis tuæ emittet’ Aria in D major
Mov. VI, ‘De torrente in via bibet’ Aria in B minor
Edited by Christine Gauci

The outstanding development of Maltese sacred music in the mid-18th century culminated in the works of priest-composer Benigno Zerafa who served as maestro di cappella at the Cathedral of St Paul in Mdina from 1744 to 1786. Zerafa’s entire collection of sacred works, except for one work, was discovered in 1969 by the curator of the Mdina archives, Mgr Rev John Azzopardi. The collection comprises masses, Credo settings, psalms, offertories, litanies, hymns, sequences, antiphons, Holy Week responsorial and motets. A Requiem Mass for four voices and organ by Zerafa was recently discovered at the Archivio Crypta Sancti Pauli (CSP) at Rabat.