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Saariaho: Works for Orchestra Box set


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Audio CD, Box set, February 28, 2012
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$26.39 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Saariaho: Works for Orchestra + Saariaho: D'Om Le Vrai Sens for Clarinet and Orchestra / Laterna Magica / Leino Songs + Chateau De L'Ame / Graal Theatre / Amers
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Product Details

  • Composer: Saariaho
  • Audio CD (February 28, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Ondine
  • ASIN: B006O8K3YK
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,900 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
This box set from Ondine reissues recordings of Kaija Saariaho's orchestral works that had appeared on the label in the 1990s and early millennium: 1, 2, 3, 4 5. The box set does not entirely replace those old CDs, as it lacks some fine chamber and solo works (perhaps these will be reissued later), but it does offer a large swath of the composer's music at an economical price. These performances are by Finnish musicians that maintained a long professional and personal relationship with Saariaho, and they are well-nigh definitive.

Although Saariaho was part of the high modernist scene during her studies in Helsinki, and she studied with the "new complexity" composer Brian Ferneyhough, her mature career really began with her arrival at IRCAM in the mid-1980s. The technology available at the famous French music research institute gave her a fascinating insight into sound itself and her writing eschewed atonal complexity for sensuous detail and slow processes of change. When there is dissonance, it is due to the transition between a pure tone and noise and used for colour. Thus the flute, whose sound is very pure, and the cello, with its great wealth of articulations, are prominent instruments.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Digital Chips on April 11, 2012
Format: Audio CD
The nice thing about listening to a bunch of works by the same composer in quick succession is that I get a glimpse of the broader picture.

This new four-disc set of Kaija Saariaho presents the Finnish composer's orchestral works spanning the past 25 years. The pieces are arranged in chronological order, and Ondine's assigned a theme to each disc, which helps the listener make sense of Saariaho's development.

Saariaho's earliest orchestral works show her slowly breaking away from the rigidity of atonal composition and into a more emotional world of sound clouds and atmospheric orchestration.

Some composers treat the human voice as something unique -- others as just another instrument. Saariaho seems to use it as a way to more fully articulate the emotional content of her music. The expressiveness of the vocal lines leave no doubt as to the emotions driving the music.

The latest works in the set, all written after 2001, show a composer in full command of her talent. These compositions have more of tonal feel to them, but only up to a point. Saariaho is still primarily concerned with communicating emotion, and if the most effective way to do it is with a more traditional sound (at least temporarily), then so be it.

As I listened to this compilation, the words I kept jotting down were "mysterious," "atmospheric," and "ethereal." Those terms, I think, apply to the entire collection. This set is a great way to become acquainted with a major voice of contemporary music.
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Saariaho: Works for Orchestra
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