KAIJA SAARIAHO (b.1952): Tocar for Flute and Harp, Sombre I-III for Baritone, Flute and Ensemble (Daniel Belcher [baritone], Da Camera of Houston), for Flute and Cello: Mirrors I, II and III, Oi Kuu, for Solo Flute: Couleurs du vent, Dolce tormento, Laconisme de l’aile.
Catalogue Number: 11R076
Reference: ODE 1276-2
Description: These pieces, spanning thirty years of her creative output, explore Saariaho's relationship with the family of flutes and with this particular performer, a longtime collaborator. The composer's vivid, inventive sonic imagination is constantly in evidence, with natural flute timbres extended through extended playing techniques, key and breath effects, vocal multiphonics, spoken vocalizations while playing, and lively but intimate dialogues of every kind with other instruments. All the pieces share a fluid quality, at once as insubstantial as air or light, and as elemental. 2012's chamber concerto Sombre was written to be played in the Rothko Chapel, and draws inspiration from the painter's dark-hued color field paintings, which find a counterpart in fragments from Ezra Pound's late Cantos and the shadowy timbres of the piece. Notwith-standing the work's timbral experimentalism, there is greater emphasis on rhythmic and harmonic definition than tends to be the case in the earlier works, a shift in emphasis apparent in Saariaho's more recent output. Texts included. Camilla Hoitenga (flutes), Anssi Karttunen (cello).