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Esa-Pekka Salonen

Publisher: Chester Music

Memoria (2003)
written as a gift for Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
Chester Music Ltd
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
12 Minutes

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Programme Note
Esa-Pekka Salonen Memoria (2003)
Memoria, a wind quintet in one movement, harks back to a piece of mine from the early 1980s, ,Mimo, which I had left unfinished. In the summer of 2003 I wanted to write some chamber music before embarking on a complex and large-scale orchestral project. I found the manuscript of Mimo, over twenty years old, in my archives, and decided to finish the composition.

In the end there was almost nothing left of the old quintet: maybe some kind of a ritualistic atmosphere and some textural aspects, very little else. I rewrote every note. The fast music that gradually grows out of the slow material did not exist in Mimo at all. The basic character is serious, sometimes even sad, despite the short fast sections where the playful, flickering divertimento character (typical of the ensemble) flashes by.

The title Memoria refers to two things: partly to some sweet-and-sour memories from more than twenty years ago, and partly to the death of Luciano Berio, the great Italian composer, whose music I greatly admire. The chorale at the end is a lament to the memory of Berio, as a gesture a bit like the end of Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments where Stravinsky mourns the death of his friend Debussy. For some reason, those chords in the last minute-and-a-half of Memoria have found their way into other works of mine. Some processes seem to need time.

Programme note © Esa-Pekka Salonen

  • 30 OCT 2014
    Creative Chair
    Tonhalle, Zurich, Switzerland
    Haika Lübcke (flute), Isaac Duarte (oboe and english horn), Felix Andreas Genner (clarinet) Hans Agreda (bassoon and contrabassoon), Mischa Greull (horn)
  • 04 NOV 2013
    CONTACT!: An Evening with Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Sub Culture, New York, USA
    Musicians from the New York Philharmonic
  • 23 MAR 2013
    March Music Moderne
    Community Music Center, Portland, Oregon
    Diane Chaplin, cello
  • 18 FEB 2011
    Presence Festival
    Theatre du Chatelet, Paris, France
    Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
    Barbara Hannigan, conductor
  • 08 AUG 2008
    Nordland Music Festival
    Bodo Domkirke, Bodo, Norway
    Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Wind Quintet
  • 07 JUN 2008
    Naantali Music Festival
    Naantali Church, Naantali, Finland
    Mikael Helasvuo, flute, Jorma Valjakka, oboe, Michel Lethiec, clarinet, Jussi Särkkä, bassoon, Esa Tapani, horn
  • 05 OCT 2007
    Composer Portrait
    Miller Theatre at Columbia University, New York, USA
    Imani Winds
    Darrett Adkins, cello; Tony Arnold, soprano; Blair McMillen, piano; Jeffrey Milarsky, conductor
  • 30 MAY 2007
    Music Institute of Chicago, Evanston, Illinois, USA
    Quintet Attacca
  • 19 DEC 2006
    Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
    Philharmonia Orchestra
    Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
  • 07 DEC 2006
    Tapiola Hall, Espoo, Finland
    Tapiola Sinfonietta
    Heinrich Schiff, conductor
  • 28 JUL 2006
    Crusell Music Festival
    Old Church, Uusikaupunki, Finland
  • 24 FEB 2006
    Tonhalle Small Hall, Zurich
    Musikhochschule Zürich, Winterthur
  • 23 JAN 2006
    Symphony Center, Chicago
    Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
  • 21 SEP 2005
    Memoria Country Premiere
    Semperoper Dresden, Germany
    Members of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden
  • 11 JAN 2005
    Memoria US Premiere
    Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA
    Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group
    Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
  • 26 OCT 2004
    Stockholm International Composer Festival
    Grünwaldsalen, Stockholm
    Kungliga Filharmonikernas Blåsarkvintett / Medlemmar ur Filharmonikerna
    Anu Komsi, soprano; Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
  • 30 NOV 2003
    Memoria World Premiere
    Avanti 20th anniversary concert
    Helsinki Conservatory, Finland
    Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
    Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor

… the UK premiere of one of his own recent scores. The wind quintet Memoria, from 2003, is a reworking of a 20-year-old piece, Mimo, now morphed into the sleek, suave […] style of Salonen's recent music, before ending with a short, fractured chorale in memory of Luciano Berio.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian,21/12/2006
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