Terrestre (2002)

Program notes

Terrestre was born by putting the second movement of Aile du Songe, a two-movement Flute Concerto dedicated to Camilla Hoitenga, back on the craft. The titles of both works are borrowed from a collection of poems by Saint John Perse, Oiseaux, which was already the source of inspiration for the piece for solo flute Laconisme de l'aile. In it, the poet describes the flight of birds and this rich ornithological metaphor allows him to describe the mysteries of life through an abstract and multidimensional language. In contrast to Olivier Messiaen, Kaija Saariaho is more interested in the idea of the bird than in its song. Terrestre consists of two parts. The first, Dancing Bird, refers to an aboriginal tale in which a bird, a virtuoso dancer, teaches dance to an entire village. The second section, The Bird, a tiny satellite, is a synthesis of the two parts of the concerto from which the piece is taken. The poetic imagery recalls these few words that Saariaho wrote at the beginning of his career: "My will is to go further and deeper. ».


Year of composition



flute solo, violin, cello, harp, percussionnist


Season Date Concert Member(s)
2020-21 Lo Spazio Ensemble Paramirabo