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Kaija Saariaho (b.1952)

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Saariaho: Chamber Works for Strings, Vol. 1

Saariaho: Chamber Works for Strings, Vol. 1


Saariaho:

Tocar for violin and piano

Vent Nocturne, for viola & electronics

Calices for violin and piano

Spins and spells

Nocturne

for violin solo

Nymphéa for string quartet and live electronics


Minna Pensola (violin), Anna Laakso (piano), Atte Kilpelainen (viola), Marko Myohanen (electronics), Antti Tikkanen (violin), Tomas Djupsjobacka (cello), Kaija Saariaho (electronics)

Meta4

This is the first of two releases of Chamber Works for Strings by Kaija Saariaho. The second will be released in 2014.

Kaija 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.

Meta4, formed in 2001, is one of the most successful Finnish string quartets on the world stage. In 2010 they received the Echo Klassik Award and in 2012 were awarded both the Record of the Year by the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE and the Emma prize (the Finnish Grammy) for Classical Album of the Year.

This release is also a tribute to Kaija Saariaho who turned 60 on 14th of October 2012.

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Saariaho: Cinq reflets de L'Amour de loin, Nymphea Reflection & Oltra mar

Saariaho: Cinq reflets de L'Amour de loin, Nymphea Reflection & Oltra mar


Saariaho:

Cinq reflets de L'Amour de loin

Pia Freund (soprano), Gabriel Suovanen (baritone)

Nymphea Reflection

Oltra mar

Tapiola Chamber Choir


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Ondine - ODE10492

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Saariaho: D’OM LE VRAI SENS

Saariaho: D’OM LE VRAI SENS


Saariaho:

D’OM LE VRAI SENS for solo clarinet and orchestra

Kari Kriikku (clarinet)

Laterna Magica for large orchestra

Leino Songs for soprano and orchestra

Anu Komsi (soprano)


This new release features the much-awaited première recording of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s first clarinet concerto D’OM LE VRAI SENS.

Kaija Saariaho (b. 1952) is one of the internationally leading composers of today, and the 2011–12 Composer-in-Residence at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

In the composer’s words, “the general idea of this piece is based on the famous medieval tapestries called La Dame à la Licorne [displayed at the Musée de Cluny in Paris]. The subject matter is the five senses and the ‘sixth sense.’”

Featuring star clarinetist Kari Kriikku, this recording brings together several of Finland’s finest ambassadors of music. Kriikku has inspired many other native composers to write concertos for him, subsequently recorded for Ondine: Magnus Lindberg (ODE 1038-2: 2006 BBC Music Magazine Award & Classic FM Gramophone Award), Uljas Pulkkis, Jukka Tiensuu, Kimmo Hakola, and Jouni Kaipainen.

The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, here led by its chief conductor Sakari Oramo, performed the acclaimed world première performance in September 2010.

Also included are the 20-minute orchestral piece Laterna Magica co-commissioned by Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker and Lucerne Festival, and a cycle of four Leino Songs, written for the acclaimed soprano Anu Komsi.

“The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra partner Kriikku admirably in this enchanting concerto and under Oramo's sensitive direction provide beguiling accompaniments for Anu Komsi in the four Leino Songs...[Laterna magica] is a filigree tone-poem with a soul of steel that showcases the Finnish orchestra splendidly. Ondine's demonstration sound caps a marvellous issue.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2011

GGramophone Awards 2012

Finalist - Contemporary

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - December 2011

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2013

Premiere Award

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Ondine - ODE11732

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Saariaho: Graal théâtre, Solar & Lichtbogen

Saariaho: Graal théâtre, Solar & Lichtbogen


Saariaho:

Graal théâtre version for violin and chamber orchestra

Solar

Lichtbogen for nine musicians and live electronics


John Storgårds (violin)

Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, Hannu Lintu

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Ondine - ODE9972

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Saariaho: La Passion de Simone

Saariaho: La Passion de Simone

World Première Recording


Dominique Blanc (narrator), Dawn Upshaw (soprano)

Tapiola Chamber Choir, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen

Following its successful world première in 2006, Ondine is proud to present Kaija Saariaho’s La Passion de Simone, for soprano solo, choir, orchestra and electronics for the first time on SACD.

Kaija Saariaho considers La Passion de Simone - an oratorio about the life and thoughts of Simone Weil - to be her most important work. This SACD features world class performers including Dawn Upshaw and Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Tapiola Chamber Choir.

Dawn Upshaw has achieved worldwide acclaim for her wide-ranging operatic and concert repertoire. Kaija Saariaho wrote the soprano part in La Passion de Simone and the opera L’Amour de loin for her.

One of the most important artists in contemporary classical music, Esa-Pekka Salonen has become established both as a celebrated conductor and composer.

This release is also a tribute to Kaija Saariaho who turned 60 on 14th of October 2012.

“Upshaw's always seems the perfect voice and sensibility for Saariaho's music; and Esa-Pekka Salonen, Saariaho's colleague from their student days, is an intensely engaged and sympathetic director of his forces and of the score.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2013 *****

“A guiding idea for the work is the polarity of light and gravity...Upshaw does as much with the demanding vocal lines as anyone could expect of her, and Salonen and his forces keep everything in sharp focus.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2013

“That the soprano part is tailor-made for Upshaw ensures a smooth elegance in the middle register...The Tapiola Chamber Choir is in command of the diaphanous and often Messiaenic choral writing, with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra no less responsive under the guidance of Esa-Pekka Salonen. As a present for Saariaho's 60th birthday, this could hardly have been improved upon.” International Record Review, June 2013

“The playing is formidable.” The Guardian, 9th May 2013 **

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Ondine - ODE12175

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Saariaho - Notes On Light, Orion & Mirage

Saariaho - Notes On Light, Orion & Mirage


Saariaho:

Notes on Light

Orion

Mirage


Following the acclaimed 2006 song cycle Quatre Instants, the latest collaboration from star soprano Karita Mattila, and her compatriot Kaija Saariaho, is Mirage, the setting of a trance-induced incantation by the Mexican healer María Sabína (1894-1985). This recording features the work's world première performance from March 13th, 2008 in Paris. The ecstatic 15-minute piece is written for soprano, cello and orchestra, featuring cellist Anssi Karttunen and the Orchestre de Paris Orchestre de Paris under its music director Christoph Eschenbach. Anssi Karttunen performs Notes on Light, the cello concerto that Saariaho wrote for him in 2006. Also featured on this CD is Orion, the largest orchestral work Saariaho has written to date.

“Saariaho has always had an extraordinary ear for a beauty of sound, best described in terms of light. …performances have that extra edge which live recording brings.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2008 ****

“These performances… are just about ideal as introductions to Saariaho… Anssi Karttunen and Karita Mattila… combine to magical effect in Mirage, where they jointly interpret the transformations of the woman in Mexican shaman-healer María Sabina's ecstatic text (set in English). ..Orion - inspired by the mortal and cosmic aspects of the mythological hunter - deserves to figure on any short list for orchestral masterpiece of the new millennium. Kaleidoscopic orchestral colour, remote from human gesture and drama but rich in intellectual imagination, is a dimension in which Christoph Eschenbach excels, and demonstration recording quality of the kind Ondine supplies is the other notable ingredient in this compelling programme.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2008

“Light is the element that allies Kaija Saariaho to so many of her Nordic peers; that, plus related things such as fire, sky, eclipse and mirage, all of which feature as titles or subtitles in the three pieces recorded here. Musical textures that shimmer, scintillate, explode, darken and extinguish are her bridge between modernism and tradition, and potentially also the listener's path from familiar modes of listening into her fascinating, never vulgarly gratifying, realm of sonic imagination.
These performances from the '100”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2008

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Ondine - ODE11302

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Saariaho: Quatre Instants, Terra Memoria & Émilie Suite

Saariaho: Quatre Instants, Terra Memoria & Émilie Suite


Saariaho:

Quatre Instants

Karen Vourc’h (soprano)

Terra Memoria for String Orchestra

Émilie Suite

Karen Vourc’h (soprano)


Ondine new release includes works written in the last decade by one of the most important Finnish contemporary composers, Kaija Saariaho (b. 1958).Two of the works, the orchestral version of Quatre instants and Émilie Suite,feature the award-winning soprano Karen Vourc’h. OrchestrePhilharmonique de Strasbourg is conducted by the orchestra’s new MusicDirector, Marko Letonja.

Émilie Suite is a 25-minute work based on Saariaho’s 80-minute monodramaOpera Émilie. The Opera tells the dramatic story of a true historical character,Marquise Émilie du Châtelet (1706–1749), one of the earliest womanscientists, who was also a mathematician and a physician. The suite includesthree songs and two orchestral interludes from the Opera.

“The atmosphere and pastel shades of the opera are preserved, but it’s the song cycle on this disc, Quatre Instants, settings from 2002 of four poems by Maalouf, that shows off Saariaho’s vocal writing more convincingly, with the voice of Karen Vourc’h wrapping itself around the tendrils of melody.” The Guardian, 15th January 2015 ***

“Karen Vourc'h...is an eloquent advocate of the heigtened arioso, flexing into and out of speech...[in Terra Memoria] Marko Letonja controls Saariaho's single arc of quizzical and querulous transformations into a haunting meditation on memory itself.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2015 ****

“[Quatre instants] has a gleaming and glittering surface, with fine filigree work in which tuned percussion is prominent, while the voice soars and dips. One aspect of Saariaho’s vocal writing is that the voice often merges with or hands over to an instrument, and is treated in some ways as if it were itself an instrument itself. The idiom is reminiscent of Szymanowski’s orchestral song-cycles or Ravel’s Shéhérazade and Saariaho’s cycle can stand the comparison...this is a memorable disc and a valuable addition to Saariaho’s growing discography.” MusicWeb International, 27th March 2015

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A Due

A Due

Contemporary Duos for Clarinet and Cello


Bergman, E:

Karanssi, Op. 114

Hakola:

Capriole for bass clarinet and cello

Heininen:

Short I, Op. 58

Jokinen:

Pros

Kortekangas:

Iscrizione

Länsiö:

A Due

Lindberg, M:

Steamboat Bill Jr

Meriläinen:

Unes

Saariaho:

Oi Kuu (To the Moon)

Tiensuu:

Plus II


Kari Kriikku (clarinet/bass clarinet) & Anssi Karttunen (cello)

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A Portrait of Kaija Saariaho

A Portrait of Kaija Saariaho


Saariaho:

Verblendungen

Jardin secret I (electronic music)

Laconisme de l'aile for solo flute

... sah den Vögeln

Noa Noa for flute and electronics


Kaija Saariaho (harmonizer), Camilla Hoitenga (flute)

Radioorkesteri, Esa-Pekka Salonen

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BIS - BISCD307

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As Dreams - Choral Music

As Dreams - Choral Music


Janson, A:

Nocturne

Lachenmann:

Consolation II (Wessobrunner Gebet)

Nørgård:

Drommesang

Singe die Gärten

Saariaho:

Überzeugung

Nuits, adieux

Xenakis:

Nuits


Norwegian Soloists' Choir, Oslo Sinfonietta, Grete Pedersen

Night, dreams, and farewells with an outstanding choir. Although different in many respects – compositional approach, geographical origin, language – the works that make up this adventurous programme from the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir and its artistic director Grete Pedersen are all, to quote Shakespeare, ‘such stuff as dreams are made on’. In various ways they refer to night and dreams, to the distant past or to an uncertain future. With composers from Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany and Greece, and texts ranging from fragments of ancient Assyrian and Sumerian (in Xenakis’s Nuits) and the 8th-century Wessobrunner Prayer (Lachenmann) to poems by Balzac (Saariaho), Nietzsche (Janson) and Rilke (Nørgård), the concept of ‘here and now’ becomes blurred and, indeed, dreamlike. The choir and Grete Pedersen released their first disc for BIS in 2007 – an all-Grieg programme awarded a Diapason d’or and with interpretations described in Le Monde de la Musique as ‘so beautiful as to make you lose your breath’. The five titles that have followed since then range from the folk-inspired ‘White Night’ (‘some of the most striking and moving singing put down on disc for years’, Gramophone) and most recently a programme combining works by the Norwegian composer Knut Nystedt (1915 – 2014) with motets by Bach (BIS2184). Meeting the different challenges posed by such varied repertoire with flawless and always idiomatic performances, the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir is a wonderful instrument in the hands of Grete Pedersen. On the present disc musicians from Oslo Sinfonietta join the team in the accompanied works, which include Nørgård’s Singe die Gärten for eight-part choir and 8 instruments and Janson’s Nocturne for double choir, 2 cellos, harp and 2 percussionists.

“A stunning achievement by all concerned. Difficult, challenging music, performed with brilliance and dedication.” MusicWeb International, 16th November 2016

“There is delicacy, sensitivity, richness and detail in each performance here (no prizes for guessing the disc’s theme) and excellent sound that gets to the many corners of each score. Add to that extraordinary imagination in the singing, individually and collectively.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2016

“There is much beauty here, often clothed in the most adventurous harmonies and vocal ideas. The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir under their Music Director, Grete Pedersen achieve the most wonderful results, taking choral singing to a new level.” The Classical Reviewer, January 2017

“Mixed themed programmes can be hit and miss, but this lovely set by the fearless Grete Pedersen explores nocturnal and oneiric modes with logic and confidence” Choir & Organ, February 2017 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - December 2016

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