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Chamber Music

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, July 27, 2004
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Cendres, for alto flute, cello & piano
  2. NoaNoa, for flute & electronics
  3. Mirrors, for flute & cello
  4. Spins and Spells, for solo cello
  5. Monkey Fingers, Velvet Hand, for piano
  6. Petals, for solo cello (electronics ad libitum)
  7. Mirrors, for flute & cello
  8. Laconisme de l'aile, for solo flute
  9. Tenju-an Garden of Nanzen-ji Temple
  10. Many pleasures (Garden of the Kinkaku-ji)
  11. Dry Mountain Stream
  12. Rock Garden of Ryoan-ji
  13. Moss Garden of the Saiho-ji
  14. Stone Bridges


Product Details

  • Performer: Composer: Kaija Saariaho, Performer: Wolpe Trio
  • Audio CD (July 27, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Kairos
  • ASIN: B0002IQDK6
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,554,731 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

This Kairos disc was released only just three years ago (2004), but it was never distributed in the United States, and even in Europe it is becoming scarce, so you might find it hard to come across a copy. It contains several chamber pieces by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho performed by the Wolpe Trio, three American musicians resident in Germany. These are flutist Lesley Olson, cellist Scott Roller, and pianist Susanne Achilles.

Kaija Saariaho has dedicated most of her chamber oeuvre to a small group of musicians she has worked closely with for years. Performances by this dedicatees are usually available in recordings which have a definitive sheen about them. If you are interested in any piece of Saariaho's, you would do best to listen to those first before coming to the Wolpe Trio's take.

However, this disc does have two standouts. The first is a piece which, as far as I know, is not available in any other recording, namely "Monkey Fingers, Velvet Hand" for solo piano. This is Saariaho's only solo piano piece, since as a composer influenced by the spectralist school her music is ill-suited for such a rigid instrument. The piece is even more unusual for Saariaho in that it takes inspiration from rock 'n' roll, incorporating elements of The Beatles' "Happiness is a Warm Gun" and "Come Together".

The second standout is "Cendres" for flute, cello, and piano (1991/1996) which was commisioned for the Wolpe Trio. It takes its material from Saariaho's earlier orchestral work "...a la fumee" and explores musical tension created by repeatedly bringing the three instruments together in timbre, pitch, rhythm etc. and then letting them go their own seperate ways in wisp-like sonorities. Saariaho has stated that she was unhappy with "...
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