Kaija Saariaho: Prelude

"The program also included Kaija Saariaho’s Prelude and Ballade, which Mr. Kigawa aptly described as 'very atmospheric and powerful.' He offered an elegant performance of this enigmatic piece, in which fragments of melody are interwoven with rumbling figurations in the left hand." - Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times

"Between these two works, Kigawa presented two pieces by Kaija Saariaho, my favorite living composer. Her Prelude and Ballade were wonderful contrasts to the midcentury thorniness of Stockhausen and Boulez. Kigawa displayed incredible versatility, crafting an atmospheric, slow, broken-chord ostinato with delicate melodic runs above it. Saariaho likes to set up one harmonic framework and then explore the intricacies of that soundworld. Often she does this through varied tone colors, but with the limited timbral options of the piano, Kigawa turned articulation into an constellation of colors, finding subtleties of expression that gave the piece tremendous excitement." - Jake Cohen, Consequence of Sound

"Stockhausen: 'Klavierstück X.' Saariaho: 'Prelude' and 'Ballade.' Boulez: Sonata No. 2. While I can’t vouch for every note, there’s no doubt about Kigawa’s ambition and conviction. Thrilling pianism." - Sedgwick Clark, Musical America