“…Saariaho's sound-world can be enticing, even sensuous, as well as hard-edged and glaring. The performances are stunning. Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic combine fastidious precision with an almost Straussian opulence, the Kronos Quartet bring their usual heightened awareness to Nymphea, while Anssi Karttunen's playing in Sept papillons (the one new recording on this disc) is breathtaking - who'd believe you could create such a world of sound with just a solo cello?”
“The Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen performs these volatile and fugitive pieces (Sept papillons) with grace and clarity. ... The Los Angeles Philharmonic manages in an enchanting way to make audible what constitutes the basic components of Saariaho's elegant construction of colour and sound: finding the balance through extremes in articulation, phrasing and sound, as well as artfully delicate transition. ... This CD proves that contemporary music is not necessarily austere or ethereal, but can present itself in a very approachable and sensual way. ... The entire production is a splendid and entirely successful example of contemporary sound magic.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.