St Petersburg, Concert Hall

The Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra

Marking 90 years of the ensemble and 25 years of the Republic of Armenia

Soloist: Anush Nikogosian (violin)
The Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Eduard Topchjan

Aram Khachaturian
Violin Concerto in D Minor

Hector Berlioz
Symphonie fantastique

About the Concert

“A huge symphonic composition in a new genre, by means of which I shall attempt to make a great impression on my audience,” was how Hector Berlioz described The score of his Symphonie fantastique, a clear manifesto of musical romanticism. The composer was not relying on The imagination of his audience, which had learned The classicist model of The symphony – from Haydn to Beethoven, – and as well as The titles of The movements he gave a symphony a well-developed literary programme in which autobiographical motifs are reflected: The story of The young composer’s passionate love for The Irish Harriet Smithson, prima donna of an English theatre company on tour in Paris.
In following The programme, The attentive listener will not miss The plot details of this musical “novella”, brilliantly brought to life by means of The symphony orchestra. The central image of The symphony, its idée fixe, is The theme of love which unites The entire cycle. It appears in various forms – ranging from The dreamlike contours of a beautiful and desirable woman in the first three movements to grotesque and caricature in the final two.

Aram Khachaturian composed The Violin Concerto in the summer of 1940 in just under two months. “Having completed The Concerto, I dedicated it to David Oistrakh,” The composer recalled, “… I remember how one musician congratulated me, saying ‘How happy you must be: you have written your Concerto, and now your son has been born’.”
David Oistrakh was enchanted by his friend’s latest work and learnt it immediately. “Very soon, in two or three days,” Khachaturian continued, “Oistrakh came to me at The House of Art in Staraya Ruza to perform The Concerto... My little cottage was full to bursting... And I and everyone else present were staggered by The firework that was Oistrakh’s performance. He performed The Concerto as if he had learnt it over The course of many months, as he subsequently went on to play it at The great venues.”
The picturesque beauty, vivid national flavour, festive optimism and virtuoso effervescence of The Concerto’s music also immediately enchanted professional musicians and The wider audience in general.
The premiere of The Violin Concerto came on 16 November 1940. The State Orchestra of The USSR was conducted by Alexander Gauk. Soon Oistrakh and Gauk presented The Concerto in Leningrad (24 December 1940), after which it came to be performed in Yerevan, Tbilisi, Kiev and Odessa. Abroad, Oistrakh’s recording of The Concerto won huge acclaim. The Concerto has since appeared in the repertoires of The world’s great violinists.
Iosif Raiskin

About the performers

The Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra (ANPO) was founded in 1925, as the Yerevan Conservatory Symphony Orchestra. Over the years, it has been directed by conductors Arshak Adamyan, Alexander Spendiaryan, Suren Charekyan, Gevork Budaghyan, Konstantin Saradjian, Mikael Maluntsyan, Ogan Durian, Mikael Terian, Ruben Vartanian, David Khandjian, Valery Gergiev, Vagan Papian, Loris Tjeknavorian and Mikael Avetisyan. In 2000, Eduard Topchjan was appointed its Artistic Director and Principal Conductor.
Since 1989, the ANPO has toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, Spain, Italy, France, Austria, Russia, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Greece, Iran, Lebanon, Turkey, the UAE, Japan, Germany, Slovakia, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Mexico and Poland. The orchestra participated in the events of the Year of Armenia in France, marking 100 years since the start of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire (2015), appeared in anniversary concerts and portrait concerts of Aram Khachaturian, Alexander Arutiunian, Arno Babajanian, Edvard Mirzoyan, Lazar Saryan, Avet Terterian, Edgar Oganesyan, Tigran Mansurian, Krzysztof Penderecki, Rodion Shchedrin, Gia Kancheli, and Sofya Gubaidulina. The musicians have appeared with David Oistrach, Leonid Kogan, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Sviatoslav Richter, Natalia Gutman, Pavel Lisitsian, Zara Dolukhanova, Jean Ter-Merguerian, Svetlana Navasardyan, Ruben Aharonyan, Renato Bruson, David Geringas, Yuri Bashmet, Steven Isserlis, Misha Mayski, Alexei Lubimov, Sergei Babayan, Sergey Khachatryan, Narek Hakhnazaryan, Plácido Domingo, Boris Berezovski, Alexander Melik-Pashayev, Kirill Kondrashin, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Kurt Masur, John Nelson and Krzysztof Penderecki.
The Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra hosts the annual Yerevan International Music Festival, with Eduard Topchjan and Alexander Chaushian as artistic directors. The 10th anniversary edition, due in 2016, marks 25 years since the establishment of the Republic of Armenia.
Since 2016, the ANPO has been represented by the German branch of IMG Artists.

Age category 6+

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