Review: Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s New York season

Posted on: November 1, 2016

“By the end of the fall season in New York Kaija Saariaho’s work will have been as ubiquitous as Beethoven’s,” writes Alex Ross in the October 31 issue of The New Yorker. “The New York Philharmonic recently presented a Saariaho evening at the Park Avenue Armory” featuring Circle Map, D’om le Vrai Sens, Lumière et Pesanteur, and Lonh. “On November 19th and 20th, the International Contemporary Ensemble and students from the Mannes School of Music will perform La Passion de Simone, her oratorio in honor of Simone Weil. Axiom, the Juilliard new-music group, will play a Saariaho program on December 12th. And, on December 1st, her opera L’Amour de Loin … enters the repertory of the Metropolitan Opera….  Many scores in Saariaho’s catalogue, and not just the theatrical ones, are visually suggestive, with titles alluding to light, water, gardens, and night. At the Armory, the Philharmonic capitalized on that painterly quality by creating a multimedia Saariaho experience.… The Philharmonic played brilliantly under Esa-Pekka Salonen, Saariaho’s former classmate at the Sibelius Academy.” Clarinetist Kari Kriikku, soloist in D’om le Vrai Sens, “has been electrifying every time I’ve seen him perform…. His physicality complements Saariaho’s otherworldly aura.”

Posted November 1, 2016