Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Toru Takemitsu - Asterism, Requiem, Green, The Dorian Horizon (1969)

Four stunning pieces of early Takemitsu (1930-1996), courtesy of this classic RCA release with its appropriately-hued Jasper Johns cover.  There's only been a couple of digital reissues of this album, one of which was tucked into a 'Masterworks of the 20th Century' boxset that anyone who's been with this blog since the beginning might remember me banging on about (links still up for Boulez, Extended Voices, Columbia-Princeton, and more recently Crumb and Partch).  The Toronto Symphony are superbly recorded in this brief but wonder-filled recording from 1969.

The most then-recent work is up first, a piano concerto of sorts called Asterism (1968) with a stunning crescendo that gradually builds towards the end.  This is followed by the earliest piece, Requiem (1957), a slightly more conventional but gorgeous bit of string writing that was famously played to Stravinsky by mistake whilst visiting Japan, the favourable reception launching Takemistu's international profile.  Completing the album are Green (1967), a short orchestral piece inspired by Takemitsu's admiration for Debussy's music, and The Dorian Horizon (1966) for 17 strings in two groups contrasting harmony and dissonance, with eerie pizzicato and glissandi.

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1 comment:

  1. Well this is a treat! Thank you — and especially also for the links to Boulez, Extended Voices et al. I'm curious about the Crumb disk because it seems I have those two works recorded by other artists: Four Moons by Dawn Upshaw and Vox Balaenae by Eighth Blackbird. I think my favorite Crumb thing is still Black Angels which I discovered at an impressionable age. Cheers—

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