- Performer: Carl St. Clair
- Composer: Takemitsu Toru
- Audio CD (Mar 3 1998)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Sme
- ASIN: B0000029WL
|1. From Me Flows What You Call Time - T. TAKEMITSU|
|2. Twill By Twilight (In Memory Of Morton Feldman) For Orchestra - T. TAKEMITSU|
|3. Requiem (For String Orchestra) - T. TAKEMITSU|
Toru Takemitsu was Japan's foremost composer in the late 20th century, and yet his music rarely sounds blatantly Japanese. The only obvious traditional influences on this CD come at the very beginning of the first piece, Through Me Flows What You Call Time. This work opens with a flute solo that contains techniques from the shakuhatchi repertoire. But quickly, the material of this solo becomes more western, sharing with Messiaen a love of symmetrical scales and modal devices. The piece uses this first flute solo as the spring board to a thirty five minute concerto grosso for orchestra and percussion ensemble. The music is lush, very romantic and colorful. The tonal language reminds me of a mix of Debussy, Scriabin and Messiaen. The melodic material is based primarily on a five note motif from the beginning of the flute solo which morphs into myriad forms. The percussion writing is exquisite...dominated by flashes of bell and cymbal color as well as ostinati on the marimba and outbursts from steel drums. The orchestra lends support mostly, occasionally singing out in an almost chorale-like texture. This piece is absolutely lovely.
The second work on the CD is Twill by Twilight. The work seems almost a carbon copy of Time except that it doesn't include the percussion group. While I find nothing particularly objectionable about the work, it isn't distinct enough to compete with the impression made by the first work. In fact...another choice for the CD might have been in order. There gets to be a monotonous quality by the end of this work. The CD is rounded out by Takemitsu's first piece to make an international spalsh...Requiem for String Orchestra. This piece is more Bergian than the others, though it too is accessible and shaded with tonal moments. It is deeply felt and a quite moving work.
Takemitsu was an enormously popular person as a composer. Any musician who knew him has only great things to say about him. This greatness of spirit comes through in the best of his music. Time and Requiem are among the finest neo-romantic pieces around. If you like Debussy, or Rautavaara, you will certainly love these pieces. Highly recommended.
"Twill by Twilight" (for orchestra) is in memory of Morton Feldman, and I must say I think its better than anything I've heard by Morton Feldman.
"Requiem" (for string orchestra) is also a nice piece, but the real showstopper on this disc is "From Me Flows What You Call Time." Get the disc for that.