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Esa-Pekka Salonen

Publisher: Chester Music

Sisar (2012)
Commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Gustavo Dudamel, Music Director, with generous support from the Rauch Family Foundation. First performance on 30 January 2013, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, by Yefim Bronfman
Chester Music Ltd
Solo Keyboard(s)
Year Composed
6 Minutes
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Programme Note
Esa-Pekka Salonen Sisar (2012)
Sisar is the fifth and last piece in a series of short preludes for piano which I began almost ten years ago. Most of the pieces share material with larger projects from the same time; sometimes as testing ground for new ideas, sometimes as an afterthought, alternative reality.

Sisar belongs to the latter category. Its title has (at least) a double meaning: in Finnish sisar means sister, in Spanish to steal or filch. Both make sense: Sisar is the little sister of my orchestra piece Nyx (a mysterious and obscure goddess figure in Greek mythology), and it steals some of its material from the bigger relative.

The character of Sisar is capricious and dream-like with sudden bursts of kinetic energy interlaced with more static, calmer music. Sometimes characters and gestures mutate gradually into something new, sometimes a new identity is introduced suddenly, like a montage or an edit in a film. I have long been interested in juxtaposing the musical metaphors of organisms and mechanisms in my music. The six-minute Sisar plays with these ideas in a very concentrated form.

Sisar is dedicated to Yefim Bronfman.

EPS 2012

  • 23 APR 2013
    Sisar European Premiere
    Prinzregententheater, Munich, Germany
    Yefim Bronfman, piano
  • 30 JAN 2013
    Sisar World Premiere
    Walt Disney Concert Hall. Los Angeles, USA
    Yefim Bronfam

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