Information about the programme
One instrument crops up with striking frequency in French music: the harp. Magdalena Hoffmann, in Debussy’s Danse sacrée et danse profane, invokes this special Debussyan inflection on her instrument, joined by a string quartet. She also creates a close but delicate exchange with the violin in Camille Saint-Saëns’s Fantaisie. But no less essential to the special French sound is the flute: when it enters an intimate dialogue with the viola in Ibert’s Interludes, the conversation takes place against the undulating ground of a harp. Wave-like arpeggios for the harp are also heard in Quintet for Harp, Flute, Violin, Viola and Cello by the composer and admiral Jean Cras, a work perhaps inspired by his long journeys at sea. The 20th-century music of Cras, Debussy and Ibert receives an exciting contemporary counterpart in Guillaume Connesson’s String Quartet, composed in 2008.