Saariaho X Koh
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Label: Cedille Records
Cat No: CDR90000183
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 9th November 2018
ArtistsJennifer Koh (violin)
Nicolas Hodges (piano)
Hsin-Yun Huang (viola)
Wilhelmina Smith (cello)
Anssi Karttunen (cello)
Curtis 20/21 Ensemble
The album offers the world-premiere recording of Saariaho’s Light and Matter for violin, cello, and piano, inspired by sunlit colours and shadows in a city park outside the composer’s window. Also receiving its first recording is the violin and cello version of Aure, meaning a gentle breeze, created for and dedicated to Koh and cellist Anssi Karttunen, another champion of Saariaho’s music.
The album’s largest work is the one that first attracted Koh to the composer: the violin concerto Graal théâtre, which Koh has performed many times and performs here in the composer’s chamber-orchestra version. Grove Music Online notes that the work illustrates 'Saariaho’s rich and expansive string style, but places greater emphasis on melody than earlier works'.
Tocar, Spanish for 'to touch', explores the playful and tactile aspects of the word through violin and piano. Cloud Trio for violin, viola, and cello was prompted by shape-shifting clouds in the French Alps.
Saariaho X Koh is the violinist’s twelfth Cedille Records album in a discography that includes the Grammy-nominated String Poetic. In reviewing her album Bach & Beyond Part 2, ClassicsToday.com proclaimed, 'When Jennifer Koh plays, people listen. Or they should'.
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