Date of Graduation
College of Creative Arts
Kaija Saariaho’s work Maan Varjot is a relatively new addition to a set of repertoire that includes the organ as a part of the orchestra. This commission from the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre National de Lyon, Southbank Centre, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, was premiered in 2014 and features the organ as a timbral enhancement and contrast to the orchestra. The 52nd Stanza from the poem Adonais, written by Percy Shelley and dedicated to John Keats, provide an important insight into the analysis and interpretation of the work. Two lines in particular are important: “The One remains, the many change and pass/Heaven's light forever shines, Earth's shadows fly.” These lines imply two interacting elements, similar to how the organ and orchestra are orchestrated in conjunction and opposition to one another in Maan Varjot. This paper seeks to show how Saariaho manipulates the musical possibilities of the instruments, particularly those of the organ, in contrast and complement to the orchestra through the lens of the Shelley poem.
Cornelius-Bates, Benjamin M., "Light and Shadow in Kaija Saariaho's Maan Varjot" (2020). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 7980.