If a three-and-a-half star rating feels miserly for a record that promises much, you should know that the last time I reviewed music by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, I feared for the continued well-being of my computer as I punched my displeasure into my keyboard. Saariaho’s early music – especially gems like Verblendungenand Lichtbogen– were packed with raw-boned harmonic and timbral intrigue; but then, during the 1990s, her music drifts towards generic notions of lyricism and line, leaving those of us who admired the early work to wonder what happened to her incisive, bold spirit.

The great British comedian Les Dawson once claimed that “beauty fades, while ugliness endures” and although Saariaho’s music from the 1980s was never exactly ugly – the beauty was elemental, bracing and absolutely revitalising – the ambient, soft-focus leanings of more recent pieces can sit too comfortably inside emotional inverted commas.

But then I play this disc and Quatre Instants, her 2002 song cycle for soprano and orchestra, and Terra Memoria, a realisation of her 2007 Second String Quartet for full strings, win me over in a way I wasn’t expecting. The...