Reconnaissance - Kaija Saariaho Choral Music

Reconnaissance - Kaija Saariaho Choral Music

BIS-2662 (BIS Records, CD)

FIRST RELEASE (30 June 2023)

Playing time: 81'53"
Tracks: 31
Booklet pages: 40
℗ 2023 BIS Records AB
© 2023 BIS Records AB
Main country of recording: Finland
Reviewer: John Dante Prevedini
Review of Reconnaissance - Kaija Saariaho Choral Music published on 17 June 2023

Helsinki Chamber Choir
Uusinta Ensemble
Anna Kuvaja, piano
Timo Kurkikangas, electronics
Nils Schweckendiek, conductor

Kaija Saariaho (1952-2023):

Nuits, adieux (1991) for four singers and electronics, to texts by Jacques Roubaud and Honoré de Balzac
1 Nuit I
2 Adieu I
3 Nuit II
4 Adieu II
5 Nuit III
6 Nuit IV
7 Nuit V
8 Adieu III-V

9 Horloge, tais-toi! (2005) for female choir and piano, to text by Aleksi Barrière

Écho! (2007) for eight voices and electronics, to text by Aleksi Barrière
10 Dolce, energico
11 Calmo, espressivo
12 Libero, intenso

Tag des Jahrs (2001) for SATB chorus and electronics, to texts by Friedrich Hölderlin
13 Der Frühling
14 Der Sommer
15 Der Herbst
16 Der Winter

17 Überzeugung (2001) for three female voices, crotales, violin and cello to text by Friedrich Hölderlin

Reconnaissance (2020) for SATB chorus, percussion and double bass, to text by Aleksi Barrière
18 The First Martian in a Long Time
19 Count Down
20 Interlude
21 Green House
22 Desert People
23 Requiem

Nuits, adieux (a capella version, 1996) for four soloists and choir, to texts by Jacques Roubaud and Honoré de Balzac
24 Nuit I
25 Adieu I
26 Nuit II
27 Adieu II
28 Nuit III
29 Nuit IV
30 Nuit V
31 Adieu III-V

This recording presents Kaija Saariaho's works for choir, a cappella and with electronics, and displays her virtuosity in the treatment of texts, which she endows with the full range of verbal expression. Nuits, adieux, presented here both in its a cappella version and with electronics, could be described as a lullaby, not so much for a sleeping child as for an elderly person sleeping out of our world. Funny and very serious at the same time, Horloge, tais toi was conceived for a children's choir. Écho! deals with the myth of Echo and Narcissus, with the idea of echo being naturally extended with electronics that process and reverb the voices of the singers. Based on poems by German poet Friedrich Hölderlin, Tags des Jahrs display an archaic choral treatment expanded by sounds of the human voices, birds, wind and other natural phenomena. Überzeugung engages with medieval music and treats the contrast between light and dark as a trance-like interplay between past and present. Finally, Reconnaissance can be seen as a 'science-fiction madrigal'. Nils Schweckendiek and the Helsinki Chamber Choir initially performed this programme in concert in August 2022 as part of the celebrations surrounding Saariaho's seventieth birthday.

Recorded 22-25 August and 20 October 2022 at Vihti Church, Vihti, Uusimaa, Finland.