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Requiem Import

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Performer: Carl St. Clair
  • Composer: Takemitsu Toru
  • Audio CD (March 3 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Sme
  • ASIN: B0000029WL
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
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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

Product Description


Takemitsu (1930-96) is Japan's greatest composer. He had a diverse musical career, which included work for films. His music partakes of aspects of postmodernism--serial construction, atonal modalities, unusual instrumentation--and all of it hypnotic. The works on this disc are for a chamber-size orchestra and are illuminated by the smaller forces. From Me Flows What You Call Time (1990) brings to mind a set of delicate, atonal wind chimes. Twill by Twilight--In Memory of Morton Feldman (1988) reflects Feldman's juxtapositions and separations, but with a bit more color. Requiem (1957), Takemitsu's first orchestral work, is stunning and very beautiful. --Paul Cook

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
absolutely sublime
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa4a69c18) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1d4b8b8) out of 5 stars Haunting and Exotic March 20 2003
By Christopher Forbes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I've had this record for quite a while now. It's taken some time but the music has really grown on me. The surface glitter of the pieces is immediately apparent. What is not so obvious on first hearing is the profundity of the musical and spiritual thought in these works.
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.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa215e4b0) out of 5 stars Just about perfect Aug. 23 2001
By Joel Gee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"From Me Flows What You Call Time" is one of the greatest pieces written in the late 20th century. The funny thing is that its hard to put a finger on why. This is some of the most original music you've ever heard. This literally sounds like nothing else I've ever heard. It is essentially a concerto for percussion quintet and it is fabulous what Takemitsu has done with the idea. Normally, a concerto for five percussionists would be bombastic and thunderous, but this is subtle & understated, but that's where the strength lies. The Pacific Orchestra provides a solid backing for the percussion. The percussion pretty much never ceases, the orchestra provides splashes & washes of color with flutes, occassional horn bursts, and lush strings. Its is shocking just how pretty & beautiful Takemitsu was able to make music with dissonance. The whole piece isn't that way, but sometimes you will hear something that doesn't quite sound right, but its still beautiful. He's the perfector of soft dissonance. I know the comparison has been run into the ground, but there is a lot of Debussy in Takemitsu, although he's more modern and has an obvious slant from the East. His music doesn't sound like Debussy's, you can just see the influence. Believe me, Takemitsu's is truly a unique voice in music.
"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.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1bf40f0) out of 5 stars A New World Created by the Genius March 17 2001
By Shuji Ogino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"From Me Flows What You Call Time" is not an ordinary percussion concerto. It is extraordinary. Usually, a percussion concerto is a lively music, full of excitement. But this piece is rather meditational. You must enjoy it in a very quiet mood. Five percussionists of NEXUS, to whom Takemitsu dedicated this piece, makes their own cosmos. When I once listened to this music in a concert hall, played by the Philadelphia Orchestra with NEXUS and Robert Spano, it is trully amazing. It is often said that Takemitsu combined Japanese culture with Western culture. To me as a Japanese, this is not Japanese nor Western, rather a new world created by the genius. "Twill by Twilight" is also a meditational piece as if I were in a space with a different scale of time. "Requiem" is Takemitsu's first orchestral piece, also serious and meditational, but more emotional than the former two pieces. It is very different from famous requiems by Mozart, Cherubini, Brahms, Verdi, Faure, etc.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1da069c) out of 5 stars Beautiful music June 5 2001
By Astral Traveler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'm a big admirer of Takemitsu, but mostly on account of his film music. While I've enjoyed his classical pieces, I've always appreciated the rawness and experimentation of his film work more. "From Me Flows What You Call Time" is the big exception... it's a truly mesmerizing piece. Like the best Takemitsu music, it can take you into another world. Frankly I don't have words to describe how wonderful this piece is. You just need to listen to it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1c2fa80) out of 5 stars Hauntingly beautiful music, but the programming isn't sufficiently diverse June 17 2006
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This Sony disc contains three pieces by the late Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu, whose untimely death in 1996 robbed the contemporary music world of one of its most distinctive figures. The first two were written during his late period, while the last is his first great work. Carl St. Clair conducts the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, with the Nexus percussion group (the dedicatee) on the first piece.

"From me flows what you call Time" (1990) for orchestra and five percussionists stands as one of Takemitsu's sure masterpieces. It might be called a concerto for percussion and orchestra, though that suggests some kind of opposition when in reality all elements of instrumentation seamlessly cooperate. The soloists' parts are very fascinating, especially when they play drums, giving a rougher tinge to the work rarely heard in the music of a composer more interested in glittery sounds. Towards the end the piece follows other works of this period ("Archipelago S.", "Ceremonial") in containing a spatial element: the percussionists play bells distantly located in various parts of the auditorium by means of coloured tape. "Twill by Twilight" (1988) was written in memory of Morton Feldman, and the title is both an allusion to Feldman's love of carpets and to Takemitsu's technique of textures that "weave" in and out of the piece, as well as a building up of the large from repetitions of the small as Feldman (in)famously did in his late pieces.

What is particularly amazing about the late Takemitsu is that he uses certain contemporary techniques, yet achieves a highly original effect different from all other composers. The pitches are generated with quasi-serialist techniques, and yet his music does not sound dry or academic, but rather highly transcendental. Timbre is a highly important element, but the result is more natural, suggestive of the outdoors, than the work of the spectralist composers. However, putting any two pieces from Takemitsu's late period together on disc is not ideal, as they are often too close stylistically and tend to dull the listener's senses. While beautiful in themselves, they don't do enough to distinguish themselves from other pieces of the same era.

The last piece is from a very different era, however. "Requiem" for strings (1957) was Takemitsu's first orchestral work and brought him to fame outside Japan when Stravinsky championed him for it. It shows him still under the influence of Messiaen and is a very moving set of incisive string figures, which can often sound quite agressive but nonetheless never break major laws of tonality. Unlike in his late period, characterized by a general evenness of dynamic, Takemitsu was not afraid here of going from the softest touches to major crescendi, although he still had not discovered the importance of timbre.

For those who have never heard Takemitsu's music, as an introduction I'd recommend the QUOTATION OF DREAM disc in Deutsche Grammophon's "20/21" series, which still has the same problem of putting Takemitsu's late works together, but which contains a whole world of interesting discoveries if you can manage to listen to each piece in isolation. Still, if you've come to enjoy the music of this singular voice in 20th century music, this Sony disc is a good find, and it's a budget purchase.

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