Repertoire Search

Kaija Saariaho

Publisher: Chester Music

Solar (1993)
commissioned by the city of Antwerpen for Champ d'Action
Chester Music Ltd
Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed
18 Minutes

Scores on subscription
Buy this work
Worldwide Sales   North American Sales
Full Score   

Programme Note
Kaija Saariaho Solar (1993)

Solar is based on the idea of an ever present harmonic structure, which radiates an image around it and forces the harmony over and over again back to its original form, as if following the laws of gravity. The piece is named after this idea.

This 'solar' harmony is then contrasted with a very different kind of harmonic principle, based more on polarities.

The musical material in Solar is deliberately limited. The same ideas re-appear, orchestrated in different manners, and above all in different tempi; this is another important aspect of Solar. Towards the end of the piece musical elements - registers, harmony, rhythm, tempo, orchestration - are presented in rapidly changing extremes.

The two electronic keyboards have limited but clear functions. The pianist alternates with the first keyboard 's sounds of metal bells tuned in quartertones. These sounds are connected to metallic percussions and the trumpet. The second keyboard, a Yamaha SY99 synthesiser, is used to complete piano and percussion textures, or to create sustained background chords and thus replace a larger string section.

  • Ensemble
    Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
    John Storgårds, violin
    Hannu Lintu
  • Ensemble
    Champ d'Action
    James Wood
  • Ensemble
    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Anu Komsi (soprano), Riikka Rantanen (contralto), Petri Alanko (alto flute), Anssi Karttunen (cello), Petteri Salomaa (baritone), John Storgards (violin), Pia Freund (soprano), Gabriel Suovanen (baritone), Karita Mattila (soprano)
    Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Large Ensemble (7 or more players):
  • 25 OCT 2018
    In Focus: Kaija Saariaho
    RNCM Concert Hall, Manchester
    RNCM New Ensemble
    Mark Heron; Anna Hartman; Mark Edwards, conductor
  • 12 DEC 2016
    Alice Tully Hall, New York, US
    Axiom Ensemble
    Jeffrey Milarsky, conductor
  • 11 JUN 2016
    Ojai Music Festival
    Ojai, CA
    ICE, Calder Quartet, Franck Rossi - electronics, Davóne Tines - baritone, Camilla Hoitenga - bass flute
  • 11 JUN 2016
    Brooklyn, NY
    International Contemporary Ensemble
  • 03 DEC 2015
    Auditorium at Indiana University, Bloomington, U.S.A.
    Indiana University New Music Ensemble
  • 21 NOV 2014
    Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, York
    Chimera Student Ensemble
    Oli Wass , conductor
  • 13 DEC 2011
    Le Manège, Reims, France
    Daniel Kawka, conductor
  • 06 OCT 2011
    Saariaho Festival Den Haag
    Dr Anton Philipszaal, Den Haag, The Netherlands
    New European Ensemble
    Willem Stam, cello / Keren Motseri, soprano / Anton Sie, harp; Christian Karlsen, conductor
  • 03 MAY 2011
    Kulturvaerflet, Helsinger, Denmark
    Athelas Sinfonietta

    Other Dates:
    4 May - Den Sorte Diamant, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 10 APR 2011
    Grand Auditorium de Caen, Caen, France
    Orchestre de Caen
    Antti Tikkanen; Vahan Mardirossian, conductor
  • 23 JUL 2010
    Rheingau Musik Festival
    Wiesbaden, Germany
    SWR Radio-Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg
    Camilla Hoitenga, flute; Susanna Mälkki, conductor
  • 06 MAY 2010
    Paris, France
    Ensemble InterContemporain
  • 16 APR 2010
    Evanston, IL
    Austin Wuliman, violin; Russel Rolen, cello; Ryan T. Nelson, conductor
  • 13 MAR 2010
    Lyon, France
    Orchestral Contemporain
  • 19 NOV 2009
    MCA Chicago, USA
    Brad Lubman, conductor

    Other Dates:
    22 November - Miller Theatre, New York, USA
  • 19 NOV 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    International Contemporary Ensemble
    Brad Lubman, conductor

    Other Dates:
    22 November - Brooklyn, NY
  • 23 AUG 2009
    Lucerne Festival
    Lucerne, Switzerland
    Ensemble InterContemporain
    Susanna Mälkki, conductor

    Other Dates:
    23 October - Paris, France
  • 27 NOV 2008
    L'Auditori, Barcelona, Spain
    Orquesta Barcelona Contemporanea
    Ernest Martinez-Izquierdo, conductor
  • 19 OCT 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    Sydney Conservatoire of Music
  • 30 NOV 2006
    Centro Superior de Musica del Pais Vasco, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain

    Other Dates:
    1 December - Centro Superior de Musica de Pais Vasco, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
  • 21 MAY 2005
    Friche la Belle de Mai/La Cartonnerie
    Prague Philharmonia
    Michel Swierczewski, conductor
  • 30 MAY 2003
    Musik im 21. Jahrhundert
    Funkhaus Halberg, Saarbrücken, Germany
    Klangforum Wien
    Anssi Karttunen, cello; Diego Masson, conductor
  • 24 NOV 2002
    Barcelona, Spain
    Barcelona 216
    Anssi Karttunen, cello; Ernest Martinez-Izquierdo, conductor
  • 10 NOV 2002
    Composer Festival
    Konserthuset, Stockholm
    Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
    John Storgårds, violin / Anssi Karttunen, cello; Hannu Lintu, conductor
  • 04 OCT 2002
    International Contemporary Music Festival Alicante
    Alicante, Spain
    Barcelona 216
    Anssi Karttunen, cello / David Albet, flute; Ernest Martinez-Izquierdo, conductor
  • 30 OCT 2001
    Discover Denmark
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
    Pierre-André Valade, conductor
  • 28 SEP 2001
    Lyon, France
    Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain
    Lorraine Vaillancourt, conductor

Close X

Newsletter Signup

Enter your email address to keep up to date with the latest news and special offers from Music Sales Classical.
Your data is secure and you can unsubscribe at any time. Read our Privacy Policy

Click here to receive regular news
© Copyright 2018 Music Sales Classical. Part of the Music Sales Group.