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Cerebral, romantic, classic: CSO returns in 2021 with something for every taste

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We’ve all been there, kicking back for some Netflix only to find ourselves paralysed by choice.

Faced with the terrifying reality that one can only enjoy so many films, books, podcasts and music (and consistently get eight hours of shuteye), what we do pick?

If you’re new to the Canberra Symphony Orchestra (CSO), the 2021 season might look a little overwhelming. What’s chamber music? Do you start with classics or bite into something brand-new?

To help you wade in, we’ve pulled together some highlights, borrowing some popular Netflix categories to help you hone in on what you’re after. Take your pick of each pairing – or book two together to get the CSO’s subscriber discount.

Romantic, swoon-worthy, emotional

The CSO kicks off its season on Valentine’s Day with Forgotten Romance, an homage to Romantic greats Clara Schumann and Franz Schubert. That’s Romantic with a capital ‘r’—a historical period of art, music and literature steeped in emotion, storytelling and the sublime.

This chamber performance is an hour-long matinee, so you’ll have plenty of time to get to your candlelit dinner reservation.

Pair this intimate performance with the swoon-worthy Longing and Desire, featuring selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Be careful: “These violent delights have violent ends.”

Dark, cerebral, suspenseful

For those with a taste for the dark and provocative, you can’t go past The Seven Deadly Sins. A scathing, political critique of capitalism, the title work makes House of Cards look pretty tame—oh, and there’s a barbershop quartet to boot.

Pair this with CSO’s Classic Afternoon, which features a thought-provoking new work by Canberra’s Kim Cunio. Drawing on sound and data from the British Antarctic Survey, Cunio asks if our experience of COVID-19 will ‘give us the moral courage and flexibility’ to confront the challenges of climate change.

Family-friendly, heartfelt, feel-good

First time at the orchestra? Dip your toe in with CSO at the Cinema, a fun program of well-loved music from the silver screen. There’s something for everyone, with selections from Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Schindler’s List and other classic films.

Pair this with the CSO Summer Prom, an all-ages picnic concert on the lawns of Government House.

Classic, critically acclaimed, inspiring

If you’re looking for enduring classics, we’re going to point you back to Longing and Desire, which also features Rachmaninov’s career-saving second piano concerto. Decades later, this timeless work was featured in David Lean’s award-winning film, Brief Encounter.

Pair it with Celestial Visions, inspired by the vastness of the cosmos and featuring Mahler’s epic fourth symphony.

CSO 2021: A journey to the heart of the human condition | Book online at cso.org.au or call CSO Direct on 02 6262 6772

Feature image: Lindi Heap

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