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

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SINFONIA TORONTO
NURHAN ARMAN Conductor
Maestro Arman conducts Sinfonia Toronto in a program of virtuoso works by four brilliant composers: the world premiere of Vania Angelova’s Polyphonic Miniatures, Mozart's beautiful second string quartet, Janacek's romantic Suite, and rarely heard Hungarian Folk Melodies by Leo Weiner.

Program
Dazzling displays for the entire orchestra by four brilliant composers
ANGELOVA  Polyphonic Miniatures world premiere
MOZART String Quartet No. 2 in D Major K 155 
JANACEK Suite 
WEINER Divertimento No. 2 'Hungarian Folk Melodies'
Livestream generously sponsored by The Rotary Club of Toronto

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.

String Quartet No. 2 in D Major by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) 
The six string quartets, K. 155–160, were composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in late 1772 and early 1773 when Mozart was sixteen and seventeen years of age. Because they were composed in Milan while he was working on his opera Lucio Silla, they are popularly known as the Milanese Quartets. Before this set was composed, Mozart had written one earlier string quartet (K. 80/73f in 1770), so these six quartets are ordinally numbered from No. 2 to No. 7. The quartets are written in a plan of keys following the circle of fifths. All six quartets have only three movements. 

Suite by Leos Jánacek (1854-1928)
Jánacek’s first instrumental works, this Suite, composed in 1877, and the Idyll, in 1878, were both written for string orchestra. Jánacek directed the premiere of the Suite himself in December 1877 in Brno, the main city of Moravia. This energetically bright, youthful work demonstrates Jánacek’s musical heritage, flowing out of the Czech national style founded by Bedrich Smetana and raised to masterful heights by Antonín Dvorák.

Dvorák’s influence in particular is evident in the striking three-chord opening of the Moderato first movement and the free-spirited lyricism that follows. The first Adagio displays brooding Romantic chromaticism and tone-colours in its scoring for muted violins and violas alone. The third movement Andante is classically simple, clearing musical space for the driving fourth movement Presto. The Suite’s fifth movement is a short second Adagio which features the cellos and bass and sets the stage for the last movement.  The finale is an Andante which again recalls Dvorák, punctuating an engaging melodic line with a striking dotted-rhythm motif.

Divertimento No. 2, Op. 24 by Leó Weiner (1885-1960)
Leó Weiner’s dates are more modern than one would assume on hearing his works. He took inspirations from Mendelssohn and Brahms, grounded in Viennese musical traditions. After winning the Franz Josef Jubilee Prize, a travelling fellowship that allowed him to study in Vienna, Berlin, Leipzig, and Paris, he became a coach at the Budapest Comic Opera and then from 1908 to 1949 he was a professor at the Budapest Academy of Music.Weiner published about thirty compositions, including this captivating Divertimento and his best-known work, the incidental music for the fairy play Csongor and Elf. Unlike his compatriots Bartók and Kodály, he retained folk music in its near-original state rather than reformulating it into a personal style. The Divertimento is dedicated to another countryman, the famous conductor Fritz Reiner. Its five movements are orchestrations of Hungarian dances which preserve their characteristic charm and flavour.

Biographies
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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