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Saariaho: L'Amour De Loin (Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Nagano) GRAMMY AWARD WINNER 2011 Hybrid SACD, SACD


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Saariaho: L'Amour De Loin (Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Nagano) GRAMMY AWARD WINNER 2011 + L'amour De Loin: Finnish National Opera (Sallonen) [DVD] [2005] [NTSC]
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Kent Nagano
  • Composer: Kaija Saariaho
  • Audio CD (27 July 2009)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi
  • ASIN: B002AHJTDK
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,393 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. L'Amour de loin: Premier acte (Traversée)Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Kent Nagano 5:41£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. L'Amour de loin: Premier acte. Premier tableau : Jaufré Rudel. Jaufré : "J'ai appris à parler du bonheur"Daniel Belcher, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Rundfunkchor Berlin and Kent Nagano 6:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. L'Amour de loin: Premier acte. Deuxième tableau : Le Pèlerin. Le Pèlerin : "Peut-être bien qu'elle n'existe pas"Daniel Belcher, Marie-Ange Todorovitch, Kent Nagano and Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin 5:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. L'Amour de loin: Premier acte. Deuxième tableau : Le Pèlerin. Jaufré : "Qu'as-tu fait de moi, pèlerin ?"Daniel Belcher, Kent Nagano and Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin 2:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. L'Amour de loin: Deuxième acte. Premier tableau : Clémence.Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Kent Nagano 3:04£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. L'Amour de loin: Deuxième acte. Premier tableau : Clémence. Clémence : "Pèlerin, dites-moi"Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Kent Nagano, Ekaterina Lekhina and Marie-Ange Todorovitch 6:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. L'Amour de loin: Deuxième acte. Premier tableau : Clémence. Le Pèlerin : "Un homme pense à vous"Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Marie-Ange Todorovitch, Kent Nagano and Ekaterina Lekhina 2:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. L'Amour de loin: Deuxième acte. Deuxième tableau : L'Amour de loin. Le Pèlerin : "Rien ne vous oblige à l'aimer"Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Kent Nagano, Marie-Ange Todorovitch and Ekaterina Lekhina 7:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. L'Amour de loin: Deuxième acte. Deuxième tableau : L'Amour de loin. Clémence : "Ja mais d'amor"Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Ekaterina Lekhina and Kent Nagano 4:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. L'Amour de loin: Troisième acte. Premier tableau : Au château de Blaye.Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Kent Nagano 1:05£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. L'Amour de loin: Troisième acte. Premier tableau : Au château de Blaye. Jaufré : "Pèlerin, Pèlerin, dis-moi"Daniel Belcher, Kent Nagano, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Marie-Ange Todorovitch 3:47£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. L'Amour de loin: Troisième acte. Premier tableau : Au château de Blaye. Le Pèlerin : "Jaufré, elle sait"Daniel Belcher, Marie-Ange Todorovitch, Kent Nagano and Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin 4:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. L'Amour de loin: Troisième acte. Premier tableau : Au château de Blaye. Le Pèlerin : "Peut-être ferais-je mieux de m'en aller"Daniel Belcher, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Marie-Ange Todorovitch and Kent Nagano 4:28£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. L'Amour de loin: Troisième acte. Deuxième tableau : À Tripoli, sur la plage. Clémence : "Ben tenc lo Seignor per verai"Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Kent Nagano, Ekaterina Lekhina and Rundfunkchor Berlin 4:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. L'Amour de loin: Troisième acte. Deuxième tableau : À Tripoli, sur la plage. Clémence : "Non, par Notre Seigneur"Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Ekaterina Lekhina and Kent Nagano 3:02£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. L'Amour de loin: Quatrième acte. Premier tableau : Mer indigo.Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Kent Nagano 5:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. L'Amour de loin: Quatrième acte. Premier tableau : Mer indigo. Jaufré : Me croiras-tu, Pèlerin"Daniel Belcher, Marie-Ange Todorovitch, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Kent Nagano 4:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. L'Amour de loin: Quatrième acte. Deuxième tableau : Songe.Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Kent Nagano 2:08£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. L'Amour de loin: Quatrième acte. Deuxième tableau : Songe. Jaufré : "Je l'ai vue, Pèlerin"Daniel Belcher, Marie-Ange Todorovitch, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Kent Nagano 3:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. L'Amour de loin: Quatrième acte. Deuxième tableau : Songe. Le Pèlerin : "Calme-toi, Jaufré"Daniel Belcher, Kent Nagano, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Marie-Ange Todorovitch 1:26£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. L'Amour de loin: Quatrième acte. Troisième tableau : Tempête. Jaufré : "Je devrais être l'homme le plus heureux du monde"Daniel Belcher, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Kent Nagano and Rundfunkchor Berlin 2:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. L'Amour de loin: Quatrième acte. Troisième tableau : Tempête. Le Pèlerin : "Ces choses se savent, oui"Daniel Belcher, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Kent Nagano and Marie-Ange Todorovitch 4:03£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. L'Amour de loin: Cinquième acte. Premier tableau : Jardin de la Citadelle. Le Ch?ur des Tripolitaines : "Comtesse, regardez"Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Ekaterina Lekhina, Kent Nagano and Rundfunkchor Berlin 2:58£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. L'Amour de loin: Cinquième acte. Premier tableau : Jardin de la Citadelle. Le Pèlerin : "Noble dame, je vous apporte une nouvelle"Daniel Belcher, Marie-Ange Todorovitch, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Kent Nagano 2:31£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. L'Amour de loin: Cinquième acte. Deuxième tableau : Si la mort pouvait attendre. Jaufré : "C'est vous, c'est vous"Daniel Belcher, Marie-Ange Todorovitch, Rundfunkchor Berlin, Kent Nagano, Ekaterina Lekhina and Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin 4:18£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. L'Amour de loin: Cinquième acte. Deuxième tableau : Si la mort pouvait attendre. Clémence : "J'aurais tant voulu"Daniel Belcher, Kent Nagano, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Ekaterina Lekhina 2:57£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. L'Amour de loin: Cinquième acte. Deuxième tableau : Si la mort pouvait attendre. Jaufré : "Seigneur, si je pouvais rester ainsi"Daniel Belcher, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Kent Nagano, Ekaterina Lekhina and Marie-Ange Todorovitch 4:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. L'Amour de loin: Cinquième acte. Troisième tableau : J'espère encore. Clémence : "J'espère encore, mon Dieu"Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Kent Nagano and Ekaterina Lekhina 3:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. L'Amour de loin: Cinquième acte. Troisième tableau : J'espère encore. Clémence : "J'avais cru en toi"Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Kent Nagano, Rundfunkchor Berlin, Ekaterina Lekhina and Marie-Ange Todorovitch 6:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. L'Amour de loin: Cinquième acte. Quatrième tableau : Vers toi qui es si loin. Clémence : "Si tu t'appelles Amour"Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Kent Nagano and Ekaterina Lekhina 6:00£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

After death and taxes, the third thing that one can be relatively sure of in life is that an opera will have a preposterous storyline, and Kaija Saariaho's first, L'amour de loin (2000), fits the mould.

Jaufré Rudel, Prince of Blaye, falls madly in love with a woman he has only ever heard of: Clémence, Countess of Tripoli. When she hears the songs he has composed in her honour, she falls in love with him. However, as he travels to Tripoli to realise their love, he becomes so ill with the fear of their meeting that upon arrival he is near death's door. All the couple have time for before he dies is a brief love duet, after which a grief-stricken Clémence vows to enter a convent. It's a classic tale of idealistic love retaining its perfection only through death; a bit like whether Romeo and Juliet would have made it to their diamond anniversary had they had time to discover that Romeo left the toilet seat up and Juliet overspent on clothes.

Saariaho's fluidly structured score constantly hints at the intangibility of this strange 'love'. There's an ethereal lack of distinction between instrumental timbre and harmony. Modal inflections suggest antiquity, snippets of eastern scales recall the Orient, but it's hard to put a finger on what the harmonic sum of all these parts actually is, other than an atmospheric, illustrative palette of colours. There are no obvious musical or dramatic events.

The success of such a score, then, rests entirely on the sense of atmospheric tension the orchestra is able to create. Happily, Kent Nagano's interpretation here makes the most of every nuance. Saariaho's vocal writing is also minimalist, with the women in particular not exploring their tessiture until much later on. However, these soloists give it all they’ve got, and Ekaterina Lekhina's delivery of the Countess's final prayer is every bit as desolately powerful as it is on the stage.

All in all, this is a finely balanced and atmospheric performance, ensuring that the opera works almost as well on disc as it does on stage. No mean feat.

Performers: Kent Nagano (cond.); Ekaterina Lekhina (sop.); Marie-Ange Todorovitch (mez. sop.); Daniel Belcher (bar,); Rundfunkchor Berlin; Deutsches Symphonie Orchester. --Charlotte Gardner

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Review

This fine recording will surely win the work more admirers. Authoritatively conducted by Kent Nagano, sumptuously played by the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and rapturously sung by the three excellent soloists, the performance is one of irresistible shimmering beauty. --Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph, 25 July 2009

Listening to this excellent recording from Berlin you get little sense of the work s theatrical viability but a very clear idea of the work s sophistication. --Andrew Clark, Financial Times, 25/26 July 2009

A finely balanced and atmospheric performance. --Charlotte Gardner, BBC Online, 24 August 2009

Listening to this excellent recording from Berlin you get little sense of the work s theatrical viability but a very clear idea of the work s sophistication. --Andrew Clark, Financial Times, 25/26 July 2009

A finely balanced and atmospheric performance. --Charlotte Gardner, BBC Online, 24 August 2009

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. E. Potts on 1 Mar 2010
Format: Audio CD
Saariaho's first opera was released on dvd in 2005 (written 2001) with the original Peter Sellars production and to great acclaim, and now based on that same production this studio recording and full marks to Harmonia Mundi for recording it. The performance and recording are superb, hypnotic and beautiful from start to finish, this opera will grow and grow on you. An easy comparison would be Birtwistle's The Mask of Orpheus but I would say more engaging and more accessible. I can hear a big Luigi Nono influence especially in the strings and choral parts but infuences aside this is a work that stands on its own.
I bough this opera a week ago and have listened to it just about every night- I just cant fault it!
All in all this a very important work from a much liked and respected composer that is sure to win a lot of awards and hearts!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By noli_altum on 14 Oct 2009
Format: Audio CD
I admit that I come to this work as an unashamed Saariaho fan so my judgement is perhaps slightly biased from the start. I am listening to this as I write. I have always enjoyed Saariaho's use of the female soprano voice with her orchestration - for those who know her work 'Chateau de L'Ame' this is in the same genre and as enjoyable. There is an ethereal quality to her writing. I have just opened the box and there is a substantial booklet with synopsis which I am about to dip into. 2 CDs and so far so Saariaho!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ivar de Vries on 14 April 2012
Format: Audio CD
The text is essential to enjoying this first opera in five acts by Kaija Saariaho. Written by Lebanese/French author Armin Maalouf, it tells a tragic medieval tale using plain non-rhyming modern words (in French, English and German translations have been provided) which is quite easy to follow. It has none of the flowery language one might expect in such an ancient setting (the song of yearning for a distant love introduced in the second act is one exception) and is actually sung rather than screamed like in plenty of other modern operas. It is about opposites like East versus West, Sea versus Land, Male versus Female, wishing for something as opposed to actually realising it, love of Humans versus love of Gods.
The first three acts show a pilgrim figure (aptly described at one point as the "voice of reason") traveling back and forth between the two other characters dreaming of each other who only briefly meet once during the fourth act before being distanced again by death. Musically it is accompanied by this great wash of sounds (mostly strings, flutes, percussion, harp, piano) that continuously shimmer away, making up an atmosphere best described as darkly tranquil, often melancholic, occasionally suffocating even. Two choirs (one male, one female) play a substantial role too - sometimes they are part of the orchestral palette, at other times they sing part of the text to comment on events or whisper away in the background. The final two acts are the liveliest and most operatic but overall, even though the text tries hard to portray the emotions felt by the protagonists, it is quite difficult to become involved as such, for that the atmosphere conveyed by the music, although it possesses great beauty, is too rarefied and tranquil.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By kate on 25 Oct 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This was a birthday request so all i can say is recipient is very happy. Service from this company was first class. After ordering i had an email saying it was actually out of stock but they eould send as soon as it came in yet it arrived only a couple of days later. Had it not been for the warning i would have said extremely fast srvice anyway but having had the warning i can only say WOW euperfast service. Will definitely use this comoany again when items are required off his cd list.
Highly recommend
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful opera, voices, well produced! 12 Feb 2010
By StephieJo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My husband has a collection of opera CDs which would rival a classical radio station so I was hesitant to add to it without his permission, but with Kent Nagano conducting and Dan Belcher singing, I thought, how could I go wrong? Well, I didn't--it is a beautiful recording of an unknown (at least to me) but beautiful opera. I highly recommend it to opera lovers!
While Deutsche Grammophon's recording is better for its visuals and cast, this performance too has some attraction 7 Sep 2014
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In the mid-1990s Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho became attracted to the poetry of Jaufre Rudel, the 12th-century troubadour and lord of Blaye who wrote striking poems of love to a woman far away whom he couldn't and, possibly, never even did meet. In "Lonh" for soprano and electronics (1996, hear it on an Ondine disc), she set one of his songs for Dawn Upshaw to sing, and then she wrote her first opera L'AMOUR DE LOIN ("Love from Afar") on the theme, and it proved a hit, with a number of productions since its 2001 debut. This Harmonia Mundi release, a 2006 recording, has Kent Nagano leading the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin with singers Daniel Belcher, tenor (Jaufré Rudel), Ekaterina Lekhina, soprano (Clémence) & Marie-Ange Todorovitch, mezzo-soprano (Le Pèlerin).

According to Rudel's unreliable biography, his love was for the Countess of Tripoli, whom he never saw but to whom he nonetheless pledged his eternal love. Amin Maalouf's libretto treats precisely this part of his life. In the first act, Rudel (a baritone) in his castle reflects how he's stuck in a rut, no longer able to show daring skill with women and make other men jealous. A pilgrim comes and tells him of a woman he saw on the other side of the sea, who is everything Rudel says he desires. The troubadour decides to desire only her, and yet he knows he cannot even see her. The pilgrim is an androgynous persona, treated as male but sung by a woman (a mezzo-soprano). This pilgrim moves back and forth across the sea, speaking individually to the Countess of Tripoli (a soprano), and then Rudel again. Eventually, Rudel decides to travel with the pilgrim to Tripoli, meeting his destiny in a tragic ending. Maalouf is a fantastic librettist, I can think of few scenes in opera as moving as the duet between Rudel and the Countess in Act IV. And although there are only three characters (and an unseen chorus representing the young men of Blaye and the young women of Tripoli), there is never that there's not enough going on; dramatic tension stays high throughout.

Saariaho's music is quite systematic. The part of Rudel is subtle, full of small steps. The soprano is characterized by wide leaps on a diatonic scale. Strikingly, the song of the pilgrim changes based on who she is addressing, reflecting her role as intermediary. The orchestral music is concerned mainly with timbre, with occasional flashes of vibrant colour as in Messiaen or Debussy. The unseen chorus, consisting as it does of kinsmen and kinswomen who try to bring Rudel and the Countess to their senses, are accompanied by music of disruption: percussion blasts, pizzicato. The music is generally impressive, but some portions prevent me from giving this opera a five-star rating. After the middle of the 1990s, Saariaho's writing changed noticeably, and she began to eschew electronics and write overt melodies, a turn for the worst compared to her masterpieces of the early '90s, such as "Amers", "Du cristal", and "Six Japanese Gardens". Most of the opera holds its own against this early great pieces, and electronics happily abound (many sounds realized at IRCAM). Yet certain moments are all too typical of what she is writing now. Take, for instance, the beginning of act IV, as the pilgrim is sitting in his ship. The music of the scene (written also as an individual piece, the first movement of her "Oltra Mar" for choir and orchestra), is trite and bombastic and like something of out a 1970s sci-fi soundtrack. Or the scene near the end where the people of Tripoli admonish the countess, music so banal and simplistic one would hardly suspect it the work of Saariaho. Nonetheless, in the main the music and the dramatic action feel of a piece, and there is richness to much of Saariaho's score.

In fact, Saariaho's score is so complex that a surround-sound recording is essential to appreciating it all, so we should be grateful that this Harmonia Mundi release, following on Deutsche Grammophon's own surround recording of the opera on DVD, is a hybrid SACD. While the Deutsche Grammophon DVD must be held as the superior recording, inasmuch as its cast is close to Saariaho (dedicatee Dawn Upshaw as Clémence, old school chum Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting) and it's got the visuals, fans of Saariaho's music will find it worthwhile to pick up this alternative recording. On the Harmonia Mundi, the duet of baritone and soprano at sea, for example, is much more movingly in sync than the Deutsche Grammophon. Belcher, Lekhina and Todorovitch are entirely up to the demands of Saariaho's writing, so if I call this musical performance second-best, it's really only on the basis of extramusical considerations.
Fascinating opera 28 Aug 2014
By C. One - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This opera is all about the dissonance between fantasy and reality, and the "otherness" of love for another person. Musically and thematically, "L'amour De Loin" strikes me as a 21st-century counterpart to Debussy's "Pelleas et Mesilande," but with a truly remarkable contemporary sound. Saariaho, I am convinced, is one of the world's best living composers, and a recording of this quality is truly remarkable for such a new work. Highly recommended.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great modern opera 28 Oct 2010
By Applesauce - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I concur with the previous review. Her music sound similar to Olivier Messiaen. There is also an excelleant DVD of this opera.
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