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Bulgaria's liberation from the Ottoman occupation (1878) created conditions for the development of professional culture in Bulgaria. Up to then the only cultural product was present in the folk tradition. From the first half of the 20th century onwards the arts marked a rapid development. Many talented Bulgarians returned to their country and lay the foundations of the Bulgarian national culture. Dimitar Nenov (1902-1953) was among the representatives of the Bulgarian composers' school of that time. He was a brilliant composer and pianist, a talented architect, an original thinker, piano pedagogue and active public figure. He graduated in architecture in Germany and then went on to study piano, theory of music and composition under the tuition of well-known professors at the Dresden Conservatory. Later he specialized in piano in Poland, graduated from the Music Academy of Bologna, Italy, and in 1937 became Professor in piano at the State Academy of Music in Sofia. Besides being a pedagogue, he also worked actively for establishing the Contemporary Music Composers' Association in Bulgaria, gave many concerts in his country and abroad. He also created a large quantity of works where he united the ideas of the European musicians together with his aspiration for ethnical sounding of the musical work. The two compositions included in this CD are an illustration of his concept. They were composed during the period 1932-1939. The toccata was conceived as a piano variant and was later orchestrated by the great Bulgarian composer Lazar Nikolov (Dimiter Nenov's student).

The Bulgarian pianist Anton Dikov, whose teachers were Nadia Boulanger, Arthur Rubinstein and Robert Kasadeseau, performs the piano solo of the concerto. He has concertised successfully in Europe, the USA, South America, and Asia and is a holder of many prestigious awards from international competitions. The remarkable performance of the Rousse Philharmonic Orchestra is due to a large extent to its conductor, Alipi Naidenov - a prominent Bulgarian conductor who has given numerous concerts and made many recordings in Bulgaria and in other European countries.


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