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. At least one of these works is also a discographic première. &&&
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 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 70th birthday.