Event info

The first half of this concert at Reykjavík Midsummer Music is held up by the wings of butterflies. The programme features two works by two giants of new Nordic music, both centered on the butterfly, the ultimate symbol of delicate impermanence. On one hand, after having enough of the bold passions of opera, Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho turned her attention to butterflies in the year 2000 and wrote her Sept Papillon – Seven butterflies – a brilliant collection of miniatures for solo cello, where each movement represents a different perspective on this magical being and its motion. On the other, Danish composer Bent Sørensen wrote his grand trilogy of chamber music entitled Papillons in the years 2013-14, and its final installment, the piano quintet Rosenbad, is filled with mysterious and dreamlike sensations and emotions. After the intermission, other winged beasts take over, as the incomparable French piano duo Katia and Marielle Labèque play Ravel’s charming and graceful Mother Goose Suite. The final work of the concert brings even more beasts to the table – feathered as well as unfeathered ones. Camille Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals is incomparably frivolous and earnest at the same time – driven by the limitless inspiration of a composer in touch with his inner child.


Kaija Saariaho                        Sept Papillion (2000)
Bent Sørensen                       Rosenbad – Papillion (2013 – 2014)


Maurice Ravel                            Mother Goose (1910)
Camille Saint-Saëns               The Carnaval of the Animals (1886)


Anahit Kurtikyan, violin
Ilya Gringolts, violin
Yura Lee, viola
Jakob Koranyi, cello
Katia Labèque, piano
Marielle Labèque, piano
Víkingur Ólafsson, piano