Sept Papillons for solo cello
Sept papillons (2000) was the first piece Saariaho wrote after her opera L’Amour de loin, and it was partly written during the rehearsals of the opera in Salzburg. One can sense the desire to find a new world which has nothing to do with the opera either in style or in language. From the metaphors of the opera, which all have an eternal quality – love, yearning, and death – she moved now to a metaphor of the ephemeral: butterfly.
Also, from the long timespans of the opera she moved to these seven miniatures, which each seem to be studies on a different aspect of fragile and ephemeral movement that has no beginning nor end.
Sept papillons was commissioned by the Rudolf Steiner Foundation and was first performed by Anssi Karttunen in Helsinki in September 2000.