KAIJA SAARIAHO (b.1952): Neiges for 12 Cellos, Vers toi qui es si loin for Violin and Orchestra (both World Premiere Recordings), Graal Théâtre for Violin and Orchestra, Circle Map.
Catalogue Number: 09V062
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: Vers toi qui es si loin (2018) is a transcription for violin and orchestra of the final aria of her first opera L’Amour de loin (2000). The medieval narrative is invoked only to the extent that the soloist's exquisite melody line, a glowing thread woven into a delicate, ethereal orchestral background, suggests the timelessness of the individual voice drawn into the mysterious fabric of the universe. Neiges is one of many works by Saariaho that depict the fluidity of natural forms, like Cloud Trio (12U061). In this case, various shapes and patterns of snow, from drifting clouds to needles of ice are suggested by textured music of harmonics, bowed notes transforming into noise textures and back, and blurred timbral shapes fading into one another and sounding like the expanded palette of electroacoustic music - except that no electronics are involved beyond those used in the spectral analysis of cello overtones. "Grail Theatre” is 'about' the theatricality of performance, the composer "thinking of an abstract search for the holy grail whatever it would mean for each of us ” and the concrete art form of the theatre. The composer describes the violin as wandering 'through different landscapes, leaving footprints behind'. The work is dramatic and intense, its tableaux limned in the composer's customary incandescent palette. Poems by Rumi serve as the foundation for Circle Map, spoken in Persian by an electronically transformed recorded voice and surrounded by complex spiraling patterns, evoking the Sufic whirling dervishes, in exotic, intensely colored and inventive orchestration. Peter Herresthal (violin), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra; Clément Mao-Takacs.