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Kaija Saariaho (Women Composers) [Kindle Edition]

Pirkko Moisala
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book is the first comprehensive study of the music and career of contemporary composer Kaija Saariaho. Born in Finland in 1952, Saariaho received her early musical training at the Sibelius Academy, where her close circle included composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. She has since become internationally known and recognized for her operas L'amour de loin and Adriana Mater and other works that involve electronic music. Her influences include the spectral analysis of timbre, especially string sounds, micropolyphonic techniques, the visual and literary arts, and sounds in the natural world. Pirkko Moisala approaches the unique characteristics of Saariaho's music through composition sketches, scores, critical reviews, and interviews with the composer and her trusted musicians.

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

This book is the first comprehensive study of the music and career of contemporary composer Kaija Saariaho. Born in Finland in 1952, Saariaho received her early musical training at the Sibelius Academy, where her close circle included composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. She has since become internationally known and recognized for her operas L'amour de loin and Adriana Mater and other works that involve electronic music. Her influences include the spectral analysis of timbre, especially string sounds, micropolyphonic techniques, as well as the visual and literary arts and sounds in the natural world. Pirkko Moisala approaches the unique characteristics of Saariaho's music through composition sketches, scores, critical reviews, and interviews with the composer and her trusted musicians.

About the Author

Pirkko Moisala is a professor of musicology at Helsinki University, Finland, and a coeditor of the anthology Music and Gender.

Product Details

  • File Size: 516 KB
  • Print Length: 139 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0252032772
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; 1st Edition edition (April 17, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0092WMFFK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #996,456 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Generally pretty horrible July 2, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Pirkko Moisala's book about Kaija Saariaho, published by University of Illinois Press in 2009, is one of the few monographs on the Finnish composer. Unfortunately, it is a great disappointment.

The problems are legion. For one, it appears that there was little to no real editing of the manuscript. Typos ("the ensemble L'Itinerairen"), spelling mistakes ("Karl-Heinz Stockhausen") and ungrammatical direct translations from Finland ("from the Finland's Academy") abound. There's hardly a single page without such errors. Moisala's English style is atrocious and I wish she had simply written the book in Finnish to begin with and then had it professionally translated into English. Also, the book is lightweight. Discussion of her music is all generalities. At less than 150 pages long, it still manages to be highly repetitive. How many times do we need to hear the same general statement that Saariaho has incorporated timbre and tone-to-noise transitions into her basic musical grammars? There are sketches of the form of two works, but not a single score sample.

I guess that the book does have some value for its trivia (the stuff that isn't mispelt to unintelligibility at any rate), and Saariaho provides something of an apology for why she no longer uses electronics as much as before. Still, anyone interested in Saariaho's life and work can get the same information as here, and much more detailed analysis of her music, by simply doing a search at JSTOR and reading the articles which the Finnish Music Information Centre has placed online. The IRCAM publication about her music also has some lovely discussion of certain works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First book about Saariaho in english July 29, 2009
Format:Hardcover
This is absolutely a very good and profound introduction to Kaija Saariaho and her music. You get a lot of biographical and musicological information, and this coherent presentation is nice, especially if you have no access to all the finnish articles, interviews etc. You get a very good overview of the composers different phases e.g., and a very profound description of the works related to the different periods of composing. You also get access to different kinds of statements from Saariaho herself (often translated from finnish), which is also nice, because she does not speak very much about her own music or aesthetics, and a description of her relationship to close colleagues and their common approach to art.
It is written, as the author describes it, out of love for Kaija Saariaho's music and you can sense the undercurrent of deep insight and understanding for this music, which makes the book special. There are how ever a lot of errors in the different types of data, and all though you find out, when the numbers do not make sense - as when it is said, that Peter Sellars' direction of Messiaens Saint Francois d'Asisse in Salzburg was in 1998 (it was in 1992), when it is supposed to have been an inspiration for Saariaho for her first opera, which must have been something like half-way finnished by then - it is a pity, that you have to do an extra check elsewhere to make sure, that you get the right information. If it was not for these errors I would have given the book 5 stars, because it is a very well written book.
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