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ARCADIA MUNDI and Gheorghi Arnaoudov’s Phantasmagorias

November 21, 2012 by · 1 comment


Sunday, 25 November, 2012 – 19:30

Gheorghi Arnaoudov – Photo Alexander Nishkov
Photo: Gheorghi Arnaoudov – Photo Alexander Nishkov

The launch of the new Arcadia Mundi Orchestra features an exciting blend of some the 20th century’s most thrilling works, a UK premiere by the Bulgarian composer Arnaoudov and the all-time-favourite ‘Jupiter’ Symphony by Mozart.

LFBC in partnership with the Bulgarian Embassy in London

Concert management by Classical Concerts Productions Ltd


  • George Hlawizcka – conductor & violin
  • Anastasios Strikos – conductor
  • Ivo Stankov – violin


  • Prokofiev – Classical Symphony
  • Beethoven – Violin Concerto
  • Gheorghi Arnaoudov – Concerto for violin and orchestra (first performance)
  • Mozart – Symphony No.41 in C K551 ‘Jupiter’


  • Price: £15/£10
  • Concession Price: Friends of SJSS 10% discount on pair of tickets

Gheorghi Arnaoudov

Phantasmagorias – Concerto for violin and orchestra II (2012)

“When writers die they become books, which is, after all, not too bad an incarnation”.
Jorge Luis Borges

Phantasmagorias is the name of several compositions for various ensembles or solo instruments with orchestra that I began to write in 2008 – I have completed four of them so far.

If you take a close look at the notes, you will see that several fragments of these pieces became the basis for succeeding works – for example the introduction of the String quartet 2010 with the supplement of extra instrumental parts and lines became part of the final of the Concerto for violin, harpsichord, percussion and string orchestra, or some more similar instances. You can perceive all that cycle of works as a big Kaleidoscope with its specific, mysterious sound mirrors containing loose structures and parts.

Phantasmagorias – Concerto for violin and orchestra II (2012), to be performed on November 25, 2012 – is a work written for solo violin and a small symphony orchestra. Although it is based on some musical material that can be traced in my earlier works (notably String quartet 2010, Concerto for violin, harpsichord, percussion and string orchestra I, 2008-10), in my opinion it stands alone as a brand-new piece.

Several tales about the amazing creatures Jorge Luis Borges transformed himself into when he created his Book of Imaginary Being (Manual de zoología fantástica) were my reason to write this Sound Renaissance Bestiary – something that, inexplicably, has kept me in thrall for the last few years.

I regard this music mostly as a soundtrack to the reading of some of those 116 famous descriptions of mythical beasts in folklore and literature. The choice of texts mattered less than the overall atmosphere – and was made in an arbitrary manner. The different parts of the work could bear the corresponding titles from the Book, and the stream of the musical expression is always on the border between different styles and periods with their idioms and rhetorical devices.

I was quietly amazed how close the late Renaissance/early Baroque sense of sound was to the encyclopedic language of Borges: a magical mixture of word, light and sound taking shape as fantastic creatures and unbelievable stories recovered from the memories of Time, strung together in a tangle of possible spaces in the annus platonicus which is now coming to a close – and in the center of that Sphere stands Borges, the alchemist of words.

Gheorghi Arnaoudov

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