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French Connections **SOLD OUT**

Sunday 13 February, 2022
Albert Hall, Yarralumla, 2pm / 4.30pm

This concert is sold out. To join the waiting list, email

Emma Sholl Flute
CSO Chamber Ensemble

Ludwig van Beethoven
Serenade for Flute, Violin and Viola, op. 25

Camille Saint-Saëns
Fantaisie for Violin and Harp, op. 124

Stuart Greenbaum
The Way Through
World premiere, new CSO commission

Claude Debussy
Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp

Adult $39–45
Concession $35–41
Under 30 $30

In Ludwig van Beethoven’s day, the flute was the instrument par excellence of the gentleman amateur. His Serenade — here featuring Artist in Focus Emma Sholl — was written primarily for this profitable market and to help his friend Giovanni Cappi, a newly established publisher. At first glance a cheerful, witty and Haydn-esque divertimento, the work betrays Beethoven’s innovative approach to instrumentation: the flute mimics a French Horn fanfare while the bass is given, unusually, to the viola.

Meanwhile, swirling violin lines float above the mesmeric sonority of the harp in Camille Saint-Saëns’ free-flowing fantaisie, composed on the Italian Riviera. Imbued with Mediterranean flavour, it’s beautifully crafted, elegant, silky and atmospheric, an inventive bravura for both players.

A hundred years after Beethoven, Claude Debussy makes equally bold instrumental choices in this sonata and recalls the Eastern harmonies that shaped earlier orchestral works like La mer. It’s also possible the composer was influenced by performances of the shakuhachi and koto at the 1889 Paris Exhibition, Japanese instruments of timbral similarity to the flute and the zither, respectively. It’s a beguiling work; Debussy said, ‘I don’t know whether one should laugh or cry. Perhaps both at the same time?’

Part of the CSO’s 2022 Chamber Classics Series

Art is always a conversation, from playful repartee to the fragile vulnerability of a heart to heart. In the intimacy of chamber music, the audience is drawn into the dialogue: a witness to the delicate give and take.

Also in this series:

Chamber Classics: Great Romantics (19 June 2022)
Chamber Classics: Night Music (25 September 2022)
Chamber Classics: Best of Brass (13 November 2022)

All CSO events are delivered in line with ACT Government COVID-safe requirements. Read more