Virtual concert - Friday, November 6, 2020 8 pm
This virtual concert presents full length performances never released before

Nurhan Arman, Conductor

MOZART 'The Hunt' K 458 
PROKOFIEV Chamber Symphony No. 1 opus 50a 
Virtual Concert sponsor Sinclair Consulting Services Inc.

To view this virtual concert anytime between November 6 and December 2, 2020 

Program notes
‘The Hunt’ String Quartet No. 17, K 458              Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestral version by Nurhan Arman                          (1756 - 1791)                   
Mozart revered Joseph Haydn as a man and loved his music, and famously dedicated a set of six string quartets to him. Excerpts from Mozart’s dedication, from the first published edition of the quartets, show the depth of his regard:

“To my dear friend Haydn… A father who had decided to send his children into the world at large thought it best to entrust them to the protection and guidance of that famous man who fortunately happened to be his best friend as well. Behold here, famous man and dearest friend, my six children. They are, to be sure, the fruit of long and arduous work, yet some friends have encouraged me to assume that I shall see this work rewarded to some extent at least, and this flatters me into believing that these children shall one day offer me some comfort. You yourself… have shown me your approval of them during your last sojourn [in Vienna]. Your praise, above all… makes me hope that they shall not be entirely unworthy of your good will.  - W.A. Mozart”

Mozart himself did not give any of the quartets in this set titles, but the fourth was later nicknamed “The Hunt.” It is an apt title, because the opening theme is reminiscent of hunting-horn calls and provides all the material that canters through a jolly first movement. The second movement minuet is more serious, but contains a delectable trio section that makes it difficult to refrain from dancing. This is followed by what is arguably the most intense movement in the entire set of six quartets, an Adagio that could almost belong to the Romantic era. The fleet Rondo Finale is straightforwardly charming, a lighthearted dessert after the intensity of the third movement.

Chamber Symphony op. 50a                                                 Sergei Prokofiev
Orchestral version by Nurhan Arman                                      (1891-1956)

During his lifetime, Prokofiev did not produce much chamber music, and only wrote two string quartets. He preferred larger works and bigger sounds. When he studied with Rimsky-Korsakov he was asked to transcribe a Beethoven sonata for string quartet. "I felt the urge to score it for a full orchestra," wrote Prokofiev, "… a string quartet seemed lacking in tone-colour-possibility because we weren't able to get the maximum out of it"

"Before starting work on the String Quartet No. 1 in B minor, Opus 50," Prokofiev wrote in his autobiography, "I studied Beethoven's quartets, chiefly in railway carriages on my way from one concert to another… Perhaps this explains the somewhat 'classical' idiom of the first movement of my quartet." But, it is interesting to note, what seemed so "classical" to Prokofiev then, appears to us, over sixty years later, as almost archetypically Prokofiev in style. According to Prokofiev, the quartet has "two distinctive features, first, the finale (the most significant movement, Prokofiev believes) is the slow movement and, secondly, the key of B minor is just a half tone below the limits of the cello and viola range. This involves a number of difficulties in writing the music." After hearing the Quartet performed in Moscow on 5 October 1931 performed by the Roth String Quartet, Soviet composer Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950) wrote of his friend's work in a letter to critic Boris Asafyev (1884-1949): "…The composition is completely free of effects, something quite surprising for Prokofiev… There is true profundity in the sweeping melodic line and intensity of the finale. This movement strikes deep…"

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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