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Melissa Farrow, Erin Helyard

A Viennese Bouquet (CD)

A Viennese Bouquet: Music for flute and piano

Melissa Farrow flute • Erin Helyard fortepiano

A Viennese Bouquet traces the expanding world of the flute in the early Romantic era: from the intimacy of the private home to the public sphere of the concert hall, applauding the new breathtaking feats of technical prowess while continuing to prize simple, tuneful elegance.

The album begins with Beethoven’s delightful variations on the folk tune "The Last Rose of Summer" and ends with the rarely performed "Rondo" by Franz Xaver Mozart, the younger of the only two sons to survive their father, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In between are grand sonatas by some of the finest Viennese composers of the day: Friedrich Kuhlau, Anton Eberl and August Eberhard Müller, plus a dazzling set of variations by the remarkable Leopoldine Blahetka, one of the most important female musicians anywhere in Europe in the 19th century.

Exquisite eloquence from Australia's foremost Baroque and Classical flute virtuoso, Melissa Farrow. Well known to Australian audiences as a featured artist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Australian Haydn Ensemble and Pinchgut Opera, this is her first solo album: a deep dive into the elegant musical salons of early 19th-century Vienna. Sublime melodies, joyous virtuosity, and delicate nuances of colour: Farrow plays the nine-key instrument prized by composers of the day, where each note has multiple possible fingerings, each with its own subtle shades of timbre. Capable of expressing a vast range of emotions, the instrument was, as the great German Romantic Jean Paul described it, "a divining rod, plumbing the depths of the soul." Farrow is joined by ARIA Award-winning pianist Erin Helyard, long a favourite with Australian audiences, hailed by Limelight magazine as "Australia's most engaging soloist." Artistic Director and co-founder of Pinchgut Opera and the Orchestra of the Antipodes, which he directs from the keyboard, Helyard has forged new standards of excellence in historically performed performance in Australia.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN 1. The Last Rose of Summer (1819) from 6 National Airs with Variations, Op. 105    ANTON EBERL 2-4 . Sonata for the pianoforte with obbligato flute, Op. 29 (1804)   FRIEDRICH KUHLAU 5. Variations on an ancient Swedish air (1827) from Grand Sonata for piano and obbligato flute, Op. 83 No. 1            AUGUST EBERHARD MÜLLER 6-8.  Grand sonata for the pianoforte and flute, Op. 38 (1814)         LEOPOLDINE BLAHETKA 9. Introduction and Variations, Op. 39 (c.1835)   FRANZ XAVER WOLFGANG MOZART 10. Rondo in E minor for flute and piano (1810)