Kaija Saariaho: The Works for Orchestra [4 CDs]

> Orion - I. Memento mori
> Orion - II. Winter Sky
> Orion - III. Hunter
> Notes on Light - I. Translucent, secret
> Notes on Light - II. On fire
> Notes on Light - III. Awakening
> Notes on Light - IV. Eclipse
> Notes on Light - V. Heart of Light
> Mirage - Mirage
> Nymphea Reflection - III. Dolcissimo
> Nymphea Reflection - IV. Lento espressivo
> Nymphea Reflection - V. Furioso
> Nymphea Reflection - VI. Misterioso
> 5 Reflets de L'Amour de loin (5 Reflections on Love from Afar) - No. 1. Outremer (2 Shores)
> 5 Reflets de L'Amour de loin (5 Reflections on Love from Afar) - No. 2. Songe (Dream)
> 5 Reflets de L'Amour de loin (5 Reflections on Love from Afar) - No. 3. L'Amour de loin (O Distant Love)
> 5 Reflets de L'Amour de loin (5 Reflections on Love from Afar) - No. 4. Si la mort pouvait attendre (If Death Could Wait)
> 5 Reflets de L'Amour de loin (5 Reflections on Love from Afar) - No. 5. Vers toi qui es si loin (Towards You So Far Away)

Album Summary

>Saariaho, Kaija : Lichtbogen, for 2 violins, viola, cello, bass, percussion, piano, flute, harp & electronics
>Saariaho, Kaija : Grammaire des rêves, for soprano, contralto, 2 flutes, harp, viola & cello
>Saariaho, Kaija : Du cristal, for orchestra
>Saariaho, Kaija : Caliban's Dream, for baritone, clarinet, mandolin, guitar, harp & double bass
>Saariaho, Kaija : Solar, for electro-acoustic ensemble
>Saariaho, Kaija : Graal théâtre, for violin & reduced orchestra
>Saariaho, Kaija : Miranda's Lament, for soprano, clarinet, harp, violin & double bass
>Saariaho, Kaija : Oltra mar, for chorus & orchestra
>Saariaho, Kaija : Nymphea Reflection, for string orchestra
>Saariaho, Kaija : Cinq reflets de l'Amour de loin, for soprano, baritone & orchestra
>Saariaho, Kaija : Orion, for orchestra
>Saariaho, Kaija : Notes on Light, for cello & orchestra
>Saariaho, Kaija : Mirage, for soprano, cello & orchestra
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

On her 60th anniversary in 2012, this 4-CD collector's box contains recordings of fourteen orchestral works by Grammy-awarded Kaija Saariaho, many of them featuring vocal or instrumental soloists. These recordings feature such acclaimed soprano soloists as Pia Freund, Anu Komsi and Karita Mattila, as well as conductors Christoph Eschenbach with the Orchestre de Paris, Esa-Pekka Salonen with the L.A. Philharmonic, and Jukka-Pekka Saraste with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Kaija Saariaho is New York Carnegie Hall's Composer-in-Residence since the beginning of the current 2011 - 12 Season.



Reviews

Ethereal orchestral works by Saariaho
The nice thing about listening to a bunch of works by the same composer in quick succession is that I get a glimpse of the broader picture.

This new four-disc set of Kaija Saariaho presents the Finnish composer's orchestral works spanning the past 25 years. The pieces are arranged in chronological order, and Ondine's assigned a theme to each disc, which helps the listener make sense of Saariaho's development.

Saariaho's earliest orchestral works show her slowly breaking away from the rigidity of atonal composition and into a more emotional world of sound clouds and atmospheric orchestration.

Some composers treat the human voice as something unique -- others as just another instrument. Saariaho seems to use it as a way to more fully articulate the emotional content of her music. The expressiveness of the vocal lines leave no doubt as to the emotions driving the music.

The latest works in the set, all written after 2001, show a composer in full command of her talent. These compositions have more of tonal feel to them, but only up to a point. Saariaho is still primarily concerned with communicating emotion, and if the most effective way to do it is with a more traditional sound (at least temporarily), then so be it.

As I listened to this compilation, the words I kept jotting down were "mysterious," "atmospheric," and "ethereal." Those terms, I think, apply to the entire collection. This set is a great way to become acquainted with a major voice of contemporary music.

Submitted on 04/11/12 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Saariaho, Kaija : Lichtbogen, for 2 violins, viola, cello, bass, percussion, piano, flute, harp & electronics
  • Conductor: Hannu Lintu
  • Ensemble: Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
  • Running Time: 16 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1986

>Saariaho, Kaija : Grammaire des rêves, for soprano, contralto, 2 flutes, harp, viola & cello
  • Performer: Anu Komsi
  • Running Time: 14 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1988-1989

>Saariaho, Kaija : Du cristal, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Ensemble: Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 37 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1989-1990

>Saariaho, Kaija : Caliban's Dream, for baritone, clarinet, mandolin, guitar, harp & double bass
  • Performer: Petteri Salomaa (Bass)
  • Conductor: Hannu Lintu
  • Ensemble: Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1992

>Saariaho, Kaija : Solar, for electro-acoustic ensemble
  • Conductor: Hannu Lintu
  • Ensemble: Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
  • Running Time: 17 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1993

>Saariaho, Kaija : Graal théâtre, for violin & reduced orchestra
  • Performer: John Storgårds (Violin)
  • Conductor: Hannu Lintu
  • Ensemble: Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
  • Running Time: 18 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1997

>Saariaho, Kaija : Miranda's Lament, for soprano, clarinet, harp, violin & double bass
  • Performer: Anu Komsi
  • Conductor: Hannu Lintu
  • Ensemble: Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
  • Running Time: 4 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1997

>Saariaho, Kaija : Oltra mar, for chorus & orchestra
  • Conductor: Jukka-Pekka Saraste
  • Ensemble: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 21 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1998-1999

>Saariaho, Kaija : Nymphea Reflection, for string orchestra
  • Conductor: Jukka-Pekka Saraste
  • Ensemble: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 21 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2001

>Saariaho, Kaija : Cinq reflets de l'Amour de loin, for soprano, baritone & orchestra
  • Performers: Gabriel Suovanen (Baritone); Pia Freund (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Jukka-Pekka Saraste
  • Ensemble: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 29 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2001

>Saariaho, Kaija : Orion, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach
  • Ensemble: Orchestre de Paris
  • Running Time: 21 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2002
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Saariaho, Kaija : Notes on Light, for cello & orchestra
  • Performer: Anssi Karttunen (Cello)
  • Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach
  • Ensemble: Orchestre de Paris
  • Running Time: 26 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2006
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Saariaho, Kaija : Mirage, for soprano, cello & orchestra
  • Performers: Anssi Karttunen (Cello); Karita Mattila
  • Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach
  • Ensemble: Orchestre de Paris
  • Notes: Composition written: 2007.
  • Running Time: 13 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 2007
  • Studio/Live: Live