Kaija Saariaho’s beautiful work from 2002 is heard in Bodø during Nordic Music Days 13th of November, performed by Berit Norbakken Solset and Arktisk Sinfonietta, conducted by Tim Weiss.
Simon Cummings (5:4) writes:
“One of the undoubted highlights of the festival was Kaija Saariaho‘s setting of texts by Amin Maalouf, Quatre Instants. Its musical language melds a luscious, bejewelled demeanour within an edgy, mysterious atmosphere. As such, though spacious and ravishing, even opulent in character – sounding as if there were many more players on stage than the modest forces of the Arctic Philharmonic Sinfonietta – this was matched and even militated against by an intense, pervading turbulence. Love infuses every sentence and sentiment of Maalouf’s words, but at times this emerged in a powerful back-and-forth between lyrical passion and ferocious anger. Carrying all of this emotional weight was soprano Berit Norbakken Solset, whose rendition of each song was astonishingly gorgeous, making them deeply moving. Nowhere more so than in the third of the songs, ‘Perfume of the instant’, its enraptured, intimate sensuality practically inducing the sensation of wafts of fragrance in the concert hall. Throughout the work, Solset made the music marvellously tactile, her voice seemingly communicating to each one of us in the audience personally. I can honestly say that if this was the last performance I ever heard, I would have died perfectly happily. Amazing.”