Concert evaluation The compositions of Kaija Saariaho and Jean-Baptiste Barrière merged into a single whole

Ecstasy was performed by credit musicians Saariaho and Barrière: Aliisa Neige Barrière, Camilla Hoitenga and Raphaële Kennedy.


Kaija Saariaho and Jean-Baptiste Barrière: Ecstasy. Helsinki Festival Week concert at Bio Rex. Aliisa Neige Barrière, violin, Camilla Hoitenga, flutes and Raphaële Kennedy, soprano.

Kaija Saariahon and Jean-Baptiste Barrièren joint work Ecstasy is a remarkably cohesive whole, given that it consists of works by two composers who also act as independent works.

Saariaho’s solo works Nocturne, NoaNoa and Lonh are all born in the 1990s and are related to the great works made by Saariaho at that time: Graal Theater for violin concerto, Iballet and Distant love opera.

This only shows the strength of Saariaho’s style: the works function as well as independent solo works as part of a larger whole, as now Ecstasy. Barrière’s works are all from the 21st century.

From the island and Barrière are involved in three works, one for the violinist (Aliisa Neige Barrière), for flutists (Camilla Hoitenga) and for the singer (soprano Raphaële Kennedy). The unity of the whole is brought by the soundscape utilizing live electronics, where a spacious echo creates its own acoustic environment. So it works though even in the drier concert hall, as on Thursday at the Glass Palace Bio Rex.

Soprano Raphaële Kennedy sang Kaija Saariaho’s Lonh, whose medieval themes are related to Saariaho’s opera The Distant Love.

Unity is also brought about by the video visualizations created by Jean-Baptiste Barrière in all his works, which illustrate the characteristics of the works. In Saariaho’s part, the catalog was related to the themes of the works: for example Noah in Noah referred to Paul Gauguin a woodcut of the same name, and In Lonh to medieval troubadour subjects. The catalog of Barrière’s works could be interpreted as natural subjects on various scales, from microscopic to cosmic.

Very the most narrative work was Barrière Violance, in which the violin parts played by Aliisa Neige Barrière were linked to the violent story she told in the video, based on Maurice Maeterlinckin Le Massacre des Innocents. Aliisa Neige Barrière also skillfully played Saariaho Nocturnen.

Violinist Aliisa Neige Barrière played Kaija Saariaho’s Nocturne.

In the works of Saariaho and Barrière, acoustic instruments are seamlessly intertwined with live electronics, which shape the sound of sound sources in a generally more airy direction. Of course, the players themselves also have to make extensive use of the extended playing techniques typical of the new music, which further expands the range of instruments.

In the ecstasy as a whole we hear Saariaho’s and Barrière’s credit musicians who know exactly what it takes to perform: a lot, and that’s why, for example, Saariaho’s credit flutist Camilla Hoitenga has written for other flutists their own tips For playing Saariaho’s flute works. Admittedly, I didn’t have time to see if he slipped his little finger on his right hand by touching his nose on Thursday, as he hints at one NoaNoan To play the “terrible point”.

Hoitenga, Aliisa Neige Barrière and Raphaële Kennedy interpreted their contribution convincingly and the whole thing was enjoyable to hear.

Ecstasy will be presented on Friday and Saturday, August 20-21. Tampereen G Livelab.



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