Kaija Saariaho

Kaija Saariaho (born 1952)

Nationality: Finnish
Born: October 14, 1952, Helsinki (age 68)

Cloud Trio for String Trio

(for violin, viola and cello)
2:48 I. Calmo, meditato
3:35 II. Sempre dolce, ma energico, sempre a tempo
2:35 III. Sempre energico
6:05 IV. Tranquillo ma sempre molto espressivo
Duration: 20 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 2009 (age 56-57)
Dedication: Written for a dedicated to the Zebra Trio
3 recordings, 9 videos
autoopen autoplay
3:02
Zebra Trio
I. Calmo, meditato
3:47
Zebra Trio
II. Sempre dolce, ma energico, sempre a tempo
2:35
Zebra Trio
III. Sempre energico
7:01
Zebra Trio
IV. Tranquillo ma sempre molto espressivo
2:33
Hsin Yun Huang, Jennifer Koh, Wilhelmina Smith
I. Calmo, meditato
3:23
Hsin Yun Huang, Jennifer Koh, Wilhelmina Smith
II. Sempre dolce, ma energico, sempre a tempo
2:34
Hsin Yun Huang, Jennifer Koh, Wilhelmina Smith
III. Sempre energico
5:08
Hsin Yun Huang, Jennifer Koh, Wilhelmina Smith
IV. Tranquillo ma sempre molto espressivo
16:15
Members of Court-circuit Ensemble
From Kaija Saariaho

Kaija Saariaho A string trio is a fascinating ensemble. Even if its instruments come from the same family it magnifies the individual characters of each. When writing the trio, I was surprised how different it was to writing for a string quartet.

In this piece, the three instruments all have different tasks and functions, they represent very different aspects of string playing. These tasks are sometimes very concrete: the violin tends to behave as an echo or reverberation, the viola creates new clouds next to the existing ones and the cello often has a function of a shadow to the upper instrumental lines.

My ideas for this piece are about common textures; how to create one coherent texture – still complex and detailed – with individual lines.

The four sections of the piece have their own colours and characters, and I leave it to the listener to imagine what kinds of clouds were their sources of inspiration.

Why Cloud Trio? When composing this piece in the French Alps (Les Arcs), watching the big sky above mountains I realized once again how rich a metaphor a natural element can be: its state or shape is so recognizable, and yet it is always varied and rich in detail.

Cloud Trio is written for and dedicated to the Zebra Trio.

— Kaija Saariaho, Paris, May 14th, 2010

© Kaija Saariaho. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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