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Kaija Saariaho

Publisher: Chester Music

Solar (1993)
commissioned by the city of Antwerpen for Champ d'Action
Publisher
Chester Music Ltd
Category
Large Ensemble (7+ players)
Year Composed
1993
Duration
18 Minutes
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Programme Note
Kaija Saariaho Solar (1993)
FOR FULL INFORMATION ON THE ELECTRONICS, please click here.

Solar is based on the idea of an ever present harmonic structure, which radiates an image around it and forces the harmony over and over again back to its original form, as if following the laws of gravity. The piece is named after this idea.

This 'solar' harmony is then contrasted with a very different kind of harmonic principle, based more on polarities.

The musical material in Solar is deliberately limited. The same ideas re-appear, orchestrated in different manners, and above all in different tempi; this is another important aspect of Solar. Towards the end of the piece musical elements - registers, harmony, rhythm, tempo, orchestration - are presented in rapidly changing extremes.

The two electronic keyboards have limited but clear functions. The pianist alternates with the first keyboard 's sounds of metal bells tuned in quartertones. These sounds are connected to metallic percussions and the trumpet. The second keyboard, a Yamaha SY99 synthesiser, is used to complete piano and percussion textures, or to create sustained background chords and thus replace a larger string section.

  • Ensemble
    Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
    Soloist(s)
    John StorgÄrds, violin
    Conductor
    Hannu Lintu
    Ondine:
  • Ensemble
    Champ d'Action
    Conductor
    James Wood
    Mode:
  • Ensemble
    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Soloist(s)
    Anu Komsi (soprano), Riikka Rantanen (contralto), Petri Alanko (alto flute), Anssi Karttunen (cello), Petteri Salomaa (baritone), John Storgards (violin), Pia Freund (soprano), Gabriel Suovanen (baritone), Karita Mattila (soprano)
    Conductor
    Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Large Ensemble (7 or more players):
Performances
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