It is up to us to aestheticize the surrounding acoustic environment…

Prof. Plamen Djurov about unorthodox concert venues and the programme of the Sofia Soloists chamber ensemble

Photo: BGNES

The Sofia Soloists chamber ensemble with conductor Prof. Plamen Djurov will hold a concert tonight, dedicated to Europe Day. Under the glass dome of the Ancient Serdica Archaeological Complex, or as it is called the Sofia Largo, the elite musicians will present an exquisite selection of music. An intriguing fact from the biography of the prolific chamber orchestra is that they were the first to make a music venue out of the complex with a concert in 2016.

Prof. Plamen Djurov:

“Being “pioneers” of “Largo” concerts, we always choose 9 May to perform there. It is a fascinating venue, surrounded by ancient ruins, in the absolute centre of Sofia that can accommodate 900-1,000. The result is something that could never happen inside a concert hall. People pass by all the time on their way to the subway just meters away and the audience come to our concerts an hour early to find better seats. But many people heading for the subway station stop to listen and remain until the programme is over. Not to mention the young mothers with little children, or the old-age pensioners… in other words, the Largo is a place that brings together a very different kind of audience than concert halls. It is a cultural and social experiment that is, to us, compelling. Of course, it is the selection of works in the programme that defines the diversity of audience. In tonight’s concert we have included popular melodies, but also works that will be new to most people. For example an overture by Georg Muffat in which a string orchestra suddenly begins to sound like an organ. Knowing the Largo’s acoustics, it will be a perfect illusion. Maria Slavova – a beautiful young lady – will be singing works by Handel and Pergolesi. The Soloists’ youngest member will be playing in Vivaldi’s Summer. We shall also perform a very dramatic and expressive piece by Marin Goleminov that is unknown to Bulgarian audiences. We end with Handel –O Sing Unto the Lord a New Song (Chandos Anthem No. 4) – a hymn we shall perform together with the Vassil Arnaudov Choir with conductor Prof. Theodora Pavlovic. A really beautiful work with all of the diversity the composer has to offer.

Finally I would like to say that it is concerts in spaces like the Largo that are the best way to dispel any apprehensions people may have who think they are ill-prepared to listen to classical music. They are a way to apply in practice what we talk about so often – that it is up to us to aestheticize the surrounding acoustic environment. That is what this concert is all about.”

Days after the 9 May concerts in the Largo, the Sofia Soloists and their conductor will perform at Bulgaria Hall, together with Quarto Quartet, the chamber orchestra known for its unorthodox ideas for otherwise “orthodox” music. The concert programme is 100 percent Vivaldi and features the famous La Follia as well as an original version of the concerto for flute The Nightingale. The last title in the programme will be selected on the night of the concert itself – 12 May. Depending on what the weather outside will be like, one of his Seasons will be performed – Vivaldi’s most popular music to this very day.

English version: Milena Daynova

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