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Karita Mattila Helsinki Recital
Karita Matttila, Martin Katz
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Karita Mattila's latest recital was taped live in Helsinki last year. Its centrepiece is Kaija Saariaho's song cycle Quatre Instants, which Mattila premiered in 2003 and which has since become something of her calling card. Setting poems by Amin Maalouf, it examines an unnamed woman's conflicted feelings towards the lover from whom she may already have separated. The songs push Mattila to her expressive limits as cries of rapture curdle into shrieks of pain and spasms of rage intrude on erotic memories. Its impact on the audience can be gauged from the near hysteria that erupts at the end.'
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 5/11/2007

'...Saariaho snaps the mood with her marvellous 2003 cycle Quatre Intants, music of Volcanic force...'
Geoff Brown, The Times, 4/4/2007

At the heart of the recital is the premiere recording of Kaija Saariaho's 2003 songcycle Quatre Instants: four 'moments' of love distilled into verse by her regular librettist Amin Maalouf. Saariaho is, as ever, deeply attentive to her singer's character and range of expression. These miniatures are a microcosm of Mattila's singing world: a deep, raging murmur in the low register and cries of horror in the flaming top of her soprano give voice to the torments of remorse in 'Douleur'; and there's a frisson of eros as the piano plays on the voie's nerve endings in 'Parfum de l'instant'.
Hilary Finch, BBC Music Magazine, 7/1/2007

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