This is a stunning disc. The highlight must surely be Mania-a cello concerto-like 17 minute piece with progressive rhythmic and orchestral values, while teetering on the brink of atonality, yet never sounding raucous, ugly, or exceedingly vulgar. This piece is one of the most exciting modern pieces I have heard in a while. Gambit and Giro are also a modern take on a stravinskyesqe, straussian tone poem. They are fun, exciting and brillinat all at once. The main piece is the LA variaitons which, though for me not as fun as the other three pieces is still well worth the listen. I did not, however, like the Five images of Sappho. Three of the five songs are good, but one of them is so obnoxiously redundent that it is ludicrous. Other than that, however, I enthusiastically recommend this and Wing on Wing(DG), along with the new piece Helix, released only on Itunes live concert series.
The quality of Salonen;s pieces so far make me very excited to follow the future of this young and talented composer. This is recommended for both lovers of both the old and new school of modern music. There are no, I repeat NO, bleep-bloop, strategic noise moments.