Download: Kaija Saariaho's 'Light and Matter' from the Library of Congress

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (left) backstage with violinist Jennifer Koh at the premiere of Kaija Saariaho's 'Light and Matter' at the Library of Congress Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (left) backstage with violinist Jennifer Koh at the premiere of Kaija Saariaho's "Light and Matter" at the Library of Congress (Courtesy of Jennifer Koh)

I am so thrilled to bring you this Meet the Composer Bonus Track! We are extremely lucky to present this recording of Kaija Saariaho's piano trio Light and Matter, taped live at the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library of Congress, just this past May 22 by the world-class ensemble of violinist Jennifer Koh, cellist Anssi Karttunen and pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute.

It's lovely, colorful, and you are some of the first people to hear it... after Justice Ginsburg, of course!

The composer’s program note is below:

"The starting point for the music is light kinetic energy, which is then developed into more dramatic gestures and rapid exchanges among the three instruments. The piece advances in spinning motion, moving from the original luminous fabric into more thematic patterns or towards the inertia of slow choral textures, 11 before returning into the original weightlessness and starting a new flickering spin.

As a result, we hear three musical elements–kinetic texture, thematic motives and slowly moving choral material–in constantly changing combinations and orchestrations. I wrote this piece in New York, while watching from my window the changing light and colors of Morningside Park.

Besides providing me with the name for the piece, perhaps that continuous transformation of light on the glinting leaves and the immobile trunks of the solid trees became the inspiration for the musical materials in this piece."

I hope you enjoy!
-Nadia Sirota

Light and Matter (2014) is published by Chester Music, Ltd.

Commissioned by the Library of Congress Dina Koston and Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music (in honor of the 90th anniversary of Concerts from the Library of Congress), Britten Sinfonia and Norrbotten NEO, and co-commissioned by the Aeolian Chamber Players in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

Engineering credits: Michael E. Turpin

Hosted by:

Nadia Sirota

Produced by:

Curtis Macdonald and Alexander Overington

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