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Echo 20/21 Takemitsu: Garden Rain

Release Date: 02/08/2005 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 4775382   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Ida KavafianPeter SerkinKiyoshi ShomuraTadamaro Ono,   ... 
Conductor:  Jürg WyttenbachHiroshi Wakasugi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philip Jones Brass EnsembleBasel Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A highly desirable trio from one of the 20th century’s great colorists.

These are bountiful times for Takemitsu’s admirers. For those with bottomless pockets or unlimited overdraft facilities, endless shelf-space and an infinite amount of time and stamina, the Shogakukan label is issuing a complete edition: the last tranche consisted of two volumes of film scores, comprising 21 CDs. For everyone else these DG reissues should hit the spot. Between them they provide a pretty representative overview of Takemitsu’s work and feature a stellar gathering of performers who are among the finest Takemitsu interpreters.

Quotation of Dream (now issued as part of the Gramophone Awards collection) was recorded in
Read more December 1996 and March 1997, shortly after the composer’s death. It showcases late-period works from 1985 (Dream/Window) to 1993 (Archipelago S), an attractive and cohesive sequence, bracketed by two antiphonal brass fanfares, put together by Oliver Knussen. That last decade of Takemitsu’s life revealed more clearly than ever his fundamental Romanticism but he always avoided the overripe, self-obsessed excesses to which the Romantics were susceptible. Most of the late works eschewed the hard-edged purity of the compositions that made his reputation but they were certainly not soft-centred. Knussen, the Sinfonietta and the celebrity soloists do full justice to the gorgeous textures and colours while keeping the stark beauty of the structures in sharp focus.

A Flock Descends… and Garden Rain are nicely packaged from the 20th Century Classics series. The earliest recordings (Stanza I, Sacrifice, Ring and Valeria) were made in September 1969 but the earliest compositions date back further, to 1958-60 (Le son calligraphié). Each album takes us through to the mid-1970s, documenting the considerable development in Takemitsu’s style, yet demonstrating equally vividly that the essential inspirations for his music – gardens, the elements, dreams, the cycles of the natural world, Impressionism – never really changed. Some early works carry evidence of the influence of the Darmstadt circle in their surgical examinations of timbre (eg Valeria) or in the licence granted performers to choose the order in which to play the movements (Ring). Even to the end, I always felt that the legacy of Takemitsu’s early electronic experiments was discernible in the way he made mysterious sounds blossom out of nowhere, drifting in and out of the listener’s field of perception. It’s as if the music is always there, just waiting for us to tune in.

These are classic performances of riveting works by one of the most mesmerising composers of the 20th century.

-- Barry Witherden, Gramophone [8/2005, reviewing DG 4775382, 453495 and 4775381]
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Works on This Recording

Garden Rain by Toru Takemitsu
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1974; Japan 
Date of Recording: 11/1974 
Venue:  Polydor Studio no 1, Tokyo, Japan 
Length: 7 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Hika by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Ida Kavafian (Violin), Peter Serkin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; Japan 
Date of Recording: 09/1975 
Venue:  Polydor Studio no 1, Tokyo, Japan 
Length: 5 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Folios by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Kiyoshi Shomura (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1974; Japan 
Date of Recording: 07/1974 
Venue:  Polydor Studio no 1, Tokyo, Japan 
Length: 11 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Distance by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Tadamaro Ono (Sho), Heinz Holliger (Oboe)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1972; Japan 
Date of Recording: 06/1973 
Venue:  Polydor Studio no 1, Tokyo, Japan 
Length: 8 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Voice by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Aurèle Nicolet (Flute)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; Japan 
Date of Recording: 03/1972 
Venue:  Polydor Studio no 1, Tokyo, Japan 
Length: 6 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Eucalypts no 1 by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Heinz Holliger (Oboe), Ursula Holliger (Harp), Aurèle Nicolet (Flute)
Conductor:  Jürg Wyttenbach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Ensemble
Date of Recording: 03/1972 
Venue:  Polydor Studio no 1, Tokyo, Japan 
Length: 8 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Le Son Calligraphié by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Namiko Umezu (Violin), Miyuki Togawa (Violin), Junko Edo (Viola),
Tadao Takahashi (Cello), Aya Tanaka (Viola), Kenji Kobayashi (Violin),
Mari Hirao (Violin), Akiyoshi Kudo (Cello)
Conductor:  Hiroshi Wakasugi
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Japan 
Date of Recording: 12/1974 
Venue:  Polydor Studio no 1, Tokyo, Japan 
Length: 9 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Japan (1958 - 1960). 
Stanza no 2 by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Ursula Holliger (Harp), Ursula Holliger (Tapes)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; Japan 
Date of Recording: 03/1972 
Venue:  Polydor Studio no 1, Tokyo, Japan 
Length: 6 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is scored for harp and tape. 
Eucalypts no 2 by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Ursula Holliger (Harp), Heinz Holliger (Oboe), Aurèle Nicolet (Flute)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; Japan 
Date of Recording: 03/1972 
Venue:  Polydor Studio no 1, Tokyo, Japan 
Length: 7 Minutes 58 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Kiyoshi Shomura is the star of this disc May 8, 2015 By Nathaniel Murphy (Tupelo, MS) See All My Reviews "Having already owned 2 other Takemitsu CDs from the Echo 20/21 series I have to say that this one has been my least favorite of the three. The real standout on this disc however is the work of guitarist Kiyoshi Shomura performing the three Folios. It makes me want to seek out more of Takemitsu's guitar pieces. The only other piece on this disc that really stood out to me was the titular Garden Rain, where Takemitsu's usually soothing mood is usurped by the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble in what is a spirited performance." Report Abuse
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