• Kaija Saariaho
  • Cendres (1998)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Gesellschaft für Neue Musik Ruhr and Kulturbüro Essen

  • aflpfvc
  • 10 min

Programme Note

I found the basis of the musical material for this piece in my double concerto ...à la fumée for alto flute, cello and orchestra. The name of the piece also derives from this.

While writing Cendres, I was mainly concentrating on the interpretation of particular musical ideas by the three different instruments of the trio, each of which has its unique character and palette of colours. Musical tension is created and regulated by sometimes bringing the instruments as close together as possible in all ways (pitch, rhythm, dynamics, articulation, colour etc.), or, at the other extreme, letting each of them express the music in their most idiomatic fashion. Between these two extremes there is an unlimited number of possible ways to create more or less homogenous musical situations. The consciousness of this variety was the rope on which I was balancing whilst working on the piece.

Cendres was commissioned by the Gesellschaft fur Neue Musik Ruhr and
Kulturbüro der Stadt Essen for the Wolpe Trio.

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