Chamber Music VIII ("The Trees, All Their Green") Op 94
for cello and string orchestra
The piece belongs to a series of compositions called Chamber Music, the first dating from the year 1976. They all are written, with the exception of No I, for a soloist and a small string orchestra. Chamber Music VI is meant for a solo string quartet (plus strings) and number VII for a solo wind quintet and strings.
Chamber Music VIII is written for cello and strings, as is the case in the widely played Chamber Music III, "The Nocturnal Dances of Don Juanquijote". Entitled "The Trees, All Their Green" ("Puut, kaikki heidän vihreytensä"), the composition is dedicated to the memory of Paavo Haavikko (1931-2008) and the subtitle is derived from one of his poems. Haavikko was one of the Finland’s leading poets and a close collaborator of the composer: he wrote among others the libretto for two of his operas (“The Horseman” and “The King goes forth to France”). Haavikko shared with the composer the high respect for nature and its meaningful organisms and one should note that the word "heidän" (their) is used in the Finnish language usually to refer to humans (this possibility of expression is lacking in many other languages).
The one-movement composition was written in 2008-2009 and commissioned by The Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbron, the Scottish Ensemble and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.