KAIJA SAARIAHO (b.1952): Mirage for Soprano, Cello and Piano, Cloud Trio for String Trio, Cendres for Alto Flute, Cello and Piano, Je sens un deuxième cœur for Viola, Cello and Piano, Serenatas for Percussion, Cello and Piano.

Catalogue Number: 10O087

Label: Ondine

Reference: ODE 1189-2

Format: CD

Price: $15.98

Description: Mirage is the chamber version of the simultaneously composed orchestral work, [offered in September 2009] setting gnomic, trance-induced utterances of a Mexican shaman, using the combination of voice and solo cello as a kind of expanded soloist. The piano substitutes for the orchestra with a rich palette of extended and conventional techniques, conjuring images of landscape, shimmering heat and blinding light. Cloud Trio vividly evokes the shifting, ephemeral shapes of cloudscapes, the higher instruments describing the formation, evolution and evaporation of the transforming cloud shapes, while the cello seems to echo them, suggesting the shadows cast on the landscape below. Cendres, the earliest work here, employs the shifting, plastic textures characteristic of Saariaho's earlier output, shimmering detail illuminating basically static material. Scored for a darker-hued version of the standard piano trio, Je sens is related to Saariaho's opera Adriana Mater. Its five movements are strongly contrasted, with a potent narrative dramaturgy, an arc progressing from mysterious beginnings via violence and somber meditation to radiant hope. Serenatas follows a similar dramatic contour; the material is related to Mirage and the 2006 cello concerto; the work abounds in vibrant instrumental colors and the luminous textures that are a recurring feature of the composer's recent music. Steven Dann (viola), Pia Freund (soprano), Tuija Hakkila (piano), Mikael Helasvuo (alto flute), Florent Jodelet (percussion), Anssi Karttunen (cello), Ernst Kovacic (violin).

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