Thursday, June 3, 2021 8 pm. Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. West

To view livestream on June 3, 8:00 pm      

To view the concert anytime from June 4 to July 2

Maestro Arman conducts Sinfonia Toronto in a program of virtuoso works by three brilliant composers: the world premiere of Vania Angelova’s Polyphonic Miniatures, Haydn's beautiful string quartet in an orchestra version and a rare instrumental masterpiece by Verdi.

ANGELOVA  Polyphonic Miniatures world premiere
HAYDN String Quartet No. 35 orchestra version
VERDI Sinfonia for Strings

Program Notes
Polyphonic Miniatures by Vania Angelova   (born 1954)
World Premiere

Composer, pianist and conductor Vania Angelova obtained a doctorate in composition at the University of Montreal after completing a masters in piano with Professor Regina Horowitz, sister of the great Russian pianist Vladimir Horowitz, as well as a masters in composition with Professor Igor Kovach in the former USSR. 

Angelova’s oeuvre includes compositions for symphony and chamber orchestras, a wide range of chamber music, two oratorios, several orchestral suites, a capella and orchestral-accompaniment arrangements of ancient and modern choir music. Her works have been performed in Canada, Eastern and Western Europe. She has composed music for seven movies.

Polyphonic Miniatures is Angelova’s most recent suite for string orchestra. This evening’s premiere will be Sinfonia Toronto’s second performance of her work, following a warm reception for another suite in a previous season, her dramatic Pagan Dances.

Quartet No. 35, Op. 42 in D Minor by Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Orchestra version by Nurhan Arman

It has been suggested that this quartet was written for a commission from Spain that Haydn mentioned in a letter in April 1784. He had been asked for quartets previously by both the Countess-duchess of Benavente and Osuna as well as the Duke of Alba; apparently Haydn had sent two quartets to the Countess’s agent as one instalment of a group of works for which a contract had been drawn up.  

Opus 42 is the only quartet by Haydn which has survived from that time, late 1784 to early 1785, so the suggestion about its origin seems probable, in spite of the fact that it has four movements rather than only the three Haydn described in his letter.
This quartet is a straightforward, typical example of the Classical-period form. The first movement is a charming Andante ed innocentemente.  The second is a Minuetto-Allegro in D major, to contrast with the D major home key of the work, with an excursion back into D minor for the trio section in the middle. A melodious third movement Adagio e cantabile in B flat major offers relaxation after the Minuet, and then the second violins state the fugato theme to open the Presto finale.

Sinfonia by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
Orchestral version by Lucas Drew

Originally written as a string quartet, Verdi’s only mature chamber work is a brilliant composition on a symphonic scale. It has attracted many conductors, including Toscanini, who made an orchestral arrangement and performed it all over the world.
The catalogue of Verdi’s purely instrumental works is quite small. He wrote six concertos and some overtures during his teens, but their quality was not high; and at the age of 18 he was actually denied admission to the Milan Conservatory because he did not demonstrate sufficient musical talent… Imagine the loss to the world if that decision had been the last word!

Concentrating almost entirely on opera for most of his life, Verdi composed the quartet within a single week, while waiting for a soprano to recover from a cold and continue rehearsing one of his operas. Music-lovers ever since have been grateful for the soprano’s temporary loss of her voice.

Verdi’s operatic imagination is beautifully evident through the quartet. The first movement Allegro is full of dramatic tension and aria-like melody. The lyrical momentum of the Andantino and the bursting energy of the following Prestissimo reveal a master steeped in the 19th-century practice of including dance interludes within operas. The work builds to a ringing conclusion with a Scherzo Fuga that quickly transitions into the movement’s main Allegro assai mosso section, which bursts with dramatic dynamic contrasts and virtuoso challenges for performers, instrumentalists’ version of their vocal colleagues’ bel canto displays.

Sinfonia Toronto now in its 22nd season, has toured twice in Europe, in the US, South America and China, receiving glowing reviews. It has released four CD’s, including a JUNO Award winner, and performs in many Ontario cities. Its extensive repertoire includes all the major string orchestra works of the 18th through 21st centuries, and it has premiered many new works. Under the baton of Nurhan Arman the orchestra’s performances present outstanding international guest artists and prominent Canadian musicians.  

Maestro Nurhan Arman has conducted throughout Europe, Asia, South America, Canada and the US, returning regularly to many orchestras in Europe. Among the orchestras Maestro Arman has conducted are the Moscow Philharmonic, Deutsches Kammerorchester Frankfurt, Filarmonica Italiana, St. Petersburg State Hermitage Orchestra, Orchestre Regional d’Ile de France, Hungarian Symphony, Arpeggione Kammerorchester, Milano Classica and Belgrade Philharmonic.

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