All three pieces are dedicated to famous French flute players: Nocturne to Paul Taffanel; Arabesque to Adolphe Hennebains and Sérénade Mélancolique to Georges Barrère. Nocturne was written in 1900, being performed subsequently in the Promenade concerts of 1904 and 1906 at Queen’s Hall in London, with Albert Fransella on flute. Its style is still firmly rooted in the late Romantic period. As indicated by markings such as expressif and avec chaleur, this is highly emotional music with beautiful long lines and intense harmonies. It is thought that both Arabesque and Sérénade Mélancolique were written a year later than Nocturne in 1901. Arabesque has elegance, poise and a wistful character, created by the minor key. As you would expect from its title, Sérénade Mélancolique expresses all the tragedy and passion of unrequited love.