7.5. BBC Symphony Orchestra / Sakari Oramo, Barbican Hall London; Kaija Saariaho: Saarikoski Songs Orchestral UK Premiere

Light becomes sound; poetry becomes music and words create worlds. Sakari Oramo crowns a day of total immersion in the music of Kaija Saariaho with a sumptuous orchestral celebration.

‘All day and night, music…’ The ancient Arabic poetry that inspired Saariaho’s Circle Map, a hyrbrid painting of Arabic script and musical notation that will be projected on screen, could serve as a motto for this Total Immersion day. Oramo conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in four orchestral works dating from 1989 to 2020 – including the UK premiere of the orchestral Saarikoski Songs, performed by their dedicatee soprano Anu Komsi.

‘It’s always the inner space that interests me’ says Saariaho, but when her creative imagination ignites, the human mind can accommodate the entire cosmos. From the ravishing cello concerto Notes on Light to the early landmark Du Cristal, this is music that uses every colour on the spectrum, and invents some new ones too – a spectacular conclusion to this total immersion in her expanding sonic universe.

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