This is the first of two releases of Chamber Works for Strings by Kaija Saariaho, and also a tribute to the composer Kaija Saariaho who turned 60 on 14th of October 2012. Saariaho is renowned across the world for her vivid orchestration. Her chamber works highlight her ability to create unique sound worlds with only a few instruments. Here she also adds live electronics to create a unique colour.This is the first of two releases of Chamber Works for Strings by Kaija Saariaho, and also a tribute to the composer Kaija Saariaho who turned 60 on 14th of October 2012. Saariaho is renowned across the world for her vivid orchestration. Her chamber works highlight her ability to create unique sound worlds with only a few instruments. Here she also adds live electronics to create a unique colour. Read less
Works on This Recording
Tocarby Kaija Saariaho Performer:
Minna Pensola (Violin),
Anna Laakso (Piano)
Atmospherica and evocativeNovember 9, 2013By Dean Frey See All My Reviews"The String Quartet Meta4 play together only on the final piece in this excellent CD of music by one of the world's greatest living composers, Kaija Saariaho. Otherwise, each of these splendid musicians gets an opportunity to show off their skills alone or in various combinations, together with Anna Laakso's piano, and electronics by Marko Myohanen and the composer Kaija Saariaho. Though this music is written for intimate combinations, there is no lack of seriousness, complexity and breadth. Saariaho is well know for pieces for large orchestra or operatic ensemble, and her powerful themes and musical vision carry over to these works, which represent the entire range of her music from the 1980s to today. Some might be intimidated by Saariaho's beginnings at IRCAM in Paris, worrying that this will be overly cerebral and representing some 'system' of composition. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is pretty accessible music; atmospheric and evocative. An amazing CD!"Report Abuse
A Good StartOctober 9, 2013By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA)See All My Reviews"Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho is a master of soundscapes. Her orchestral works weave tapestries of sound that are both earthy and other-worldly. And as this new collection shows, her nuanced approach to music is equally effective with the limited forces of chamber groups. <br />
Although the string quartet META4 are the featured artists, they only perform together on one track -- Nymphéa. The rest of the selections are for a single string instrument with varying types of accompaniment: Tocar, and Calices for violin and piano; Vent nocturne for viola and electronics; Spins and Spells for cello solo, and Nocturne for violin solo. <br />
Nymphéa is composed for string quartet plus electronics. And Saariaho applies said electronics with a very light touch. She uses them to enhance the sound of the acoustic instruments, almost like super-saturating the colors of a photograph. The electronics heighten the emotional intensity of the string quartet in this pensive work. <br />
My personal favorite is Spins and Spells for solo cello. There's an off-kilter quality to the music that keeps it moving forward in fits and starts. The work feels perpetually off-balance and tumbling forward right up to the end. <br />
If you're already a fan of Saariaho's music, this disc is a must. If not, this can provide a good and somewhat intimate introduction to this visionary composer's style."Report Abuse
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