Personalities | Kaija Saariaho | Contemporary | Classical
(Kär-ya Särre-a-ho) b. 1952
Saariaho studied at the Sibelius Academy and the Freiburg Conservatory before moving to Paris, where she worked at IRCAM, the centre for electroacoustic music established by Boulez. A lot of her early works explored the potential of live electronics and computer-assisted composition. Key to the latter was the analysis of instrumental sound spectra, which Saariaho (like other so-called ‘spectral’ composers) used as the basis of the form and harmonic structure of her music, with highly atmospheric results. She has turned increasingly to the human voice, notably in the song cycle Château de l’âme (‘Castle of the Soul’, 1996) and the operas L’amour de loin (‘The Love from Afar’, Salzburg Festival, 2000) and Adriana Mater (Paris Opéra, 2006).
L’amour de loin, soloists, Deutsches SO, Berlin (cond) Kent Nagano (Harmonia Mundi)
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