Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho has been based in Paris since 1982 when she began her work at the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music (IRCAM). She has been the recipient of multiple awards, most recently receiving the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Contemporary Music.

On this new recording, a collaboration with Chicago-based violinist Jennifer Koh, Saariaho returns to an old love. Violin was the first instrument she started learning at age six. In her memory it remains redolent of wood, rosin and the tobacco smoke of her teacher, a lovely metaphor for the sensory and ephemeral quality of these string-based works. The largest is...