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Saturday, June 3, 2023

Kaija Saariaho has died

Yesterday, when I was out and about, I noticed that a prominent modern classical composer had died: Kaija Saariaho, who is from Finland bur lived much of his life in France. Here is the New York Times obituary.

One of her operas, Only the Sound Remains, was inspired by Japanese Noh drama and based on texts translated by Ezra Pound. I have listened to quite a bit of Saariaho's music. My favorite work of hers was Oltra Mar, which describes a sea voyage. But the New York Times critic Zachary Woolfe, who I guess does not agree with me, did not include it in his list of "11 Essential Works."  Hat tip to Eric Wagner, for pointing out the Ezra Pound connection to me. 

1 comment:

Eric Wagner said...

Thank you for sharing this. I had forgotten that the music history textbook I used, Listen by Joseph Kerman, et al, included an excerpt from her setting of Sylvia Plath. I just started listening to a terrific interview with her.