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Miracles in the Age of Reason

Wednesday 18 / Thursday 19 May 2022

Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music, Acton, 7.30pm

Benjamin Bayl Conductor
Emma Sholl Flute
Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Jean-Philippe Rameau
Suite from Platée

Carl Philipp Emanuel (CPE) Bach
Flute Concerto in D minor, Wq. 22

Richard Meale AM, MBE

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 39 in E-flat major, K. 543

Adult $54–101
Concession $48–89
Under 30 $30
Student rush $15

Llewellyn Hall family packages available – call CSO Direct on 02 6262 6772 (weekdays 10am – 3pm).

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The major intellectual, philosophical, social and artistic forces at work in Europe in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were – in France, at least – outright revolutionary. Guided by values of rationality, order and science, Enlightenment thinkers like Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Denis Diderot championed individual reason as the source of truth and universal understanding, flying in the face of centuries-old traditions and religious ideas, including (dangerously) the ‘divine right’ of kings.

This upheaval resonates in Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Platée, a rousing comic masterpiece that turned operatic conventions upside down. Rameau’s ability to draw the most exhilarating sonic colours from the orchestra was astounding, his harmonic ideas well ahead of their time.

Meanwhile, reason shines in the works of Carl Philipp Emanuel (CPE) Bach, whose intellectual rigour lent rationality to even the boldest of his musical experiments. One of the composer’s best-loved works, this virtuosic flute concerto exemplifies CPE Bach’s melodic gift and evocative use of harmonic colour.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was deeply influenced by the groundswell of intellectual discourse, religious inquiry and fierce political debate swirling in Vienna by the late eighteenth century. In the summer of 1788, penniless and out of vogue, Mozart directed his energies to the completion of three remarkable symphonies. Number 39 – the first of the set – is exuberant and unbounded, full of characteristically inventive, Mozartian flourishes.

Penned at the turn of the twenty-first century, Richard Meale’s Lumen is a modern nod to enlightened thought: melodic, haunting and yet somehow bathed in hopeful sunlight.

Part of the CSO’s 2022 Llewellyn Series

The mainstage is our epicentre, where a hundred voices move as one to delight, inspire, soothe and uplift. Join us with open hearts for the big human stories: revolution, loss, redemption and connection.

Also in this series:

Llewellyn One: Redemption (13 / 14 April 2022)
Llewellyn Three: War and Peace (14 / 15 September 2022)
Llewellyn Four: Infinite Possibilities (23 / 24 November 2022)

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