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Kaija Saariaho

Publisher: Chester Music

Neiges (1998)
commissioned by the city of Beauvais
Chester Music Ltd
Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed
15 Minutes
Alternate Orchestration
12 cellos

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Programme Note
Kaija Saariaho Neiges (1998)
When I considered the ensemble of eight cellos, I first thought of matt and dark textures. I also wanted to go back to some ideas on symmetry. While I was pondering all that, I saw snow flakes falling from the dark sky of the Finnish autumn. Focusing on the snow, the idea of writing variations on it and its various forms became clearer in my mind.

Nuages de neige is a uniform and linear texture in which I realise my first impressions of that ensemble. The two Etoiles de neige are based on the idea of symmetry and repetition: the first one develops up to a certain point where it doubles back as in a mirror image, the second one consists of eight sections in which the harmonic structure is repeated, as well as a linear gesture that becomes ever more present. Aguilles de glace focuses on different pizzicati and superimposed ostinati. With Fleurs de neige I sought to recall the texture of those harmonic trills at the end of the first section, although more airy and diversified here.

Kaija Saariaho

  • Ensemble
    Helsinki Cello Ensemble
  • 26 OCT 2018
    In Focus: Kaija Saariaho
    Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (6.30pm)
    Students of the RNCM
  • 07 DEC 2016
    Folkwang University of the Arts
  • 08 OCT 2011
    Saariaho Festival Den Haag
    Korzo Theatre, Den Haag, The Netherlands
    New European Ensemble
    Willem Stab, cello / Roswotja Bergmann, soprano / Tomoko Mukaiyama, piano / cellists from the Royal Conservatory; Christian Karlsen, conductor
  • 26 MAY 2011
    Neiges UK Premiere
    Sounds New 2011
    Canterbury Cathedral Crypt
    Cello Octet Amsterdam
  • 28 OCT 2010
    KB Marathom
    Essen, Germany
    double bass ensemble with Niek de Groot

    Other Dates:
    29 October - Essen, Germany
    31 October - Orchesterzentrum NRW, Dortmund, Germany
  • 18 JUN 2010
    Naantali Music Festival
    Naantali, Finland
  • 07 APR 2010
    Cleveland, OH
    Cleveland Museum of Art
    Anssi Karttunen, cello; I Cellisti
  • 13 FEB 2008
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Vlaams Opera

    Other Dates:
    15 February - Ghent, Belgium
  • 28 FEB 2007
    Finnish Institute, rue des Ecoles, Paris
    Cellists of the Centre de Pratique des Musiques Contemporaines d'Evry; Michel Pozmanter, conductor
  • 29 JAN 2006
    Konzerthaus, BerĀ“lin
    Cellists of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra
  • 29 SEP 2005
    Conservatoire National de Region de Strasbourg
    Ensembles du Conservatoire National de Region de Strasbourg
  • 05 MAY 2004
    RNCM Manchester International Cello Festival
    Anssi Karttunen, conductor
  • 25 FEB 2002
    Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella concerts
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thornton Contemporary Music Ensemble
    Donal Crockett, conductor
  • 23 FEB 2002
    Green Umbrella Series
    Los Angeles, CA
    University of Southern California Thornton Contemporary Music Ensemble
  • 27 SEP 2001
    Festival Musica
    Strasbourg, France
    Helsinki Cello Ensemble
  • 18 SEP 2001
    Helsinki, Finland
    Helsinki Cello Ensemble

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