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Kaija Saariaho

Publisher: Chester Music

Cinq reflets (2001)
commissioned by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra - Stockholm Concert Hall Foundation
Work Notes
dedicated to Esa-Pekka Salonen
Publisher
Chester Music Ltd
Category
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
2001
Duration
30 Minutes
Soloist
Soprano, Baritone
Programme Note
Kaija Saariaho Cinq reflets (2001)
Operas have been singing of love and death from time immemorial, but seldom have they been subjected to such rich and profound scrutiny as in Kaija Saariaho's L'Amour de Loin. The work was almost unanimously acclaimed by the critics at its premiere at the Salzburg Festival in summer 2000, being described as a 'lyrical masterpiece' and 'the best new opera of the year', and the New York Times went so far as to hail it 'the best new work of the year'.
L'Amour de Loin is based on the fictitious life of a troubador, Jaufré Rudel, who really did live in the 12th century. The suite, scored for soprano, baritone and orchestra, draws on material from the opera but there are no straight excerpts from it. Saariaho says that she combined ideas in a new way and also composed some new material. The movements do have certain material affinities, but no direct citations; it is more a question of different combinations and juxtapositions. The songs tie in with the characters in the opera, but in a rather liberal treatment; the third song in the suite, for example, sung by the baritone, is based on music sung in the opera by a mezzo-soprano.
The five movements make up an entity with a plot that in a way runs parallel to the opera but is by nature more abstract. In the first the soprano exclaims that while others all dream of travelling to faraway lands, she wishes only to go home. The second song is essentially a dream in which the baritone has visions of a countess. The third is a song composed by the baritone for the countess; the words of this are by Jaufré Rudel, those of the other movements by Amin Maalouf. By the fourth movement the lvoers have met, but the baritone dies at the end. The last song, by the soprano, ties in closely with the finale of the opera.

Kimma Korhonen

  • Ensemble
    Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tapiola Chamber Choir
    Soloist(s)
    Pia Freund (Soprano), Gabriel Suovanen (Baritone)
    Conductor
    Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Ondine:
  • Ensemble
    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Soloist(s)
    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)
    Conductor
    Esa-Pekka Salonen
Performances
Date
Title
  • 25 AUG 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    NDR Symphony Orchestra
  • 25 APR 2008
    das neue werk, NDR
    Hamburg, Germany
    NDR Symphony Orchestra
    Camilla Hoitenga, flute / Melanie Walz, soprano/ Hans Christoph Begemann, bariton; Susanna Mälkki, conductor
  • 20 OCT 2005
    Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall
    Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
    Robertas Servenikas, conductor
  • 27 JAN 2005
    Lingotto, Torino, Italy
    Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai
    Gianandrea Noseda, conductor
  • 05 DEC 2004
    Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles
    Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
    Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor

    Other Dates:
    12 December - Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles
  • 14 APR 2004
    Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Tapiolan Kamarikuoro
    Pia Freund, soprano / Gabriel Suovanen, baritone; Jukka-Pekka Saraste, conductor
  • 28 JUN 2003
    Cinq reflets US Premiere
    Ravinia Festival
    Ravinia
    Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Heidi Grant-Murphy, soprano / Brett Polegato, baritone; Robert Spano, conductor
  • 07 NOV 2002
    Composer Festival
    Konserthuset, Stockholm
    Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
    Taina Piira, soprano / Gerald Finley, baritone / Magnus Lindberg, piano; Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor

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