Hilario Durán: Sinfonía Afrocubana

Hilario Durán Trio

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) salutes the many facets of Pan American culture with a vibrant, percussion-sparked programme of Latin-American music. Cuban jazz piano legend Hilario Durán and his trio take the spotlight for Durán’s own sizzling Concerto.

Hilario Durán’s Concerto for Latin Jazz Trio and Orchestra “Sinfonía Afrocubana” was commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra through the generous support of the Esther Gelber Fund.

Wednesday April 29, 2015 at 6:30pm
TSO – Latin Jazz: Hilario Durán Trio (Afterworks)
Roy Thomson Hall – $39 – $82 (buy tickets online)

Thursday April 30, 2015 at 8:00pm
TSO – Latin Jazz: Hilario Durán Trio (Masterworks)
Roy Thomson Hall – $39 – $145 (buy tickets online)

Hilario Durán: Concerto for Latin Jazz Trio and Orchestra, “Sinfonía Afrocubana” (World Première/TSO Commission)

b Havana, Cuba, 1953
Composed: 2014

“Sinfonía Afrocubana” is a three-movement concerto for Latin Jazz Trio and Orchestra, commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra through support from the Esther Gelber Fund. A wide-ranging work, this piece is influenced by modern jazz and classical music, mixed with Afro-Cuban rhythms, and with elements of Spanish flamenco music. The work is primarily based on the bembé 6/8 pattern, an Afro-Cuban rhythm for three African Batá drums (Okónkolo, Itótele, and Iyá). Though typically played by three percussionists for religious ceremonies, it will be performed by one player in this piece: the virtuoso percussionist, Joaquin Hidalgo, in this concert.The first movement begins with a dramatic statement by the entire orchestra. After an introductory virtuosic piano cadenza, the trio, with the Batá drums, introduce the main theme, and initiate a series of dialogues between the orchestra and the trio, developing the piece through melodic and rhythmic variations.The second movement starts with an introduction by the woodwinds, and a series of piano cadenzas. The orchestra responds and the trio enters, playing in a modern Cuban music style with Cuban percussion. They develop an interplay, which ultimately leads to a drum solo with orchestra. After a large tutti statement, the movement ends with a solo bass cadenza.

The third and final movement is based on the rhythm of the son montuno danzón (a Cuban music and dance style), with lush accompaniment by strings in the style of George Gershwin. After a long piano cadenza, the full orchestra enters playing themes in which Afro-Cuban bembé and Spanish flamenco styles meet (listen for the castanet and Batá drums in the orchestra). This is followed by a dazzling display of the trio playing modern jazz, which finally leads to a restatement of the main theme of the first movement to end the “Sinfonía”.

(Duration approximately 19 minutes.)

Programme Note by: The composer © 2015

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