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Kaija Saariaho: Nymphea Reflection

By Kaija Saariaho

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String Orchestra
Composed by Kaija Saariaho (1952-). Classical. Score. Composed 2015. 62 pages. Chester Music #MUSCH83853. Published by Chester Music (HL.14043724).

Item Number: HL.14043724

Nymphea Reflection is a work by renowned composer Kaija Saariaho, arranged for String Orchestra. Commissioned by the Schleswig Holstein Festival, it was first performed on the 16th of August 2001 inElmshorn, Germany by Sinfonietta Cracovia, conducted by John Axelrod.


Saariaho states that the starting point for Nymphea Reflection came from the idea of arranging her stringquartet Nymphea. Originally working on a straight arrangement, she eventually realised that this would be very difficult, and she'd need to find a new way of composing that particular piece of music. She designed a formal conceptfor each of the six sections, imbuing them with very different characters. 

Her simulation of electronic processing by means of orchestration is an innovative take on a new form, while the effect ofthe poem by Arseniy Tarkovsky, whispered by the musicians gives a haunting new perspective to both music and words.

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