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Takemitsu: To The Edge Of Dream / Williams, Salonen


Release Date: 01/28/1992 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 46720   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  John WilliamsSebastian BellGareth Hulse
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is the second Takemitsu disc to appear in recent months: the first, from Virgin Classics (9/91), was of works for chamber ensemble. The focus here is the guitar—the ideal vehicle, it might be guessed, for Takemitsu's dreamy, introspective yet far from austere musical manner. And so, to a large extent, it proves.

The earliest music is in the solo pieces. Folios (1974) is unobtrusively characterful, with the unexpected appearance of the Bach St Matthew Passion chorale, "Wenn ich einmal soil scheiden", in No. 3. A very different hymn melody is the source of Takemitsu's transcription of What a Friend, which dates from 1977. What a friend we have in Jesus is inoffensively recast as a decorous piece of light music,
Read more along with Gershwin's Summertime and two other songs. John Williams makes the best of these miniatures, the immaculate recording catching the full range of the instrument's delicate colours.

The other compositions date from the 1980s. Toward the Sea takes risks in combining alto flute and guitar, the music often seeming too small scale and inturned for its own good. Though it is performed with the utmost refinement, the many pauses and silences almost come to seem more essential than the actual sounds. Vers, l'Arc-enciel, Palma is another mood piece; languid but not wholly soft-centred. There is a brilliant account of the oboe d'amore cadenza from Gareth Hulse, and no denying the skill with which Takemitsu himself sketches the outlines of a satisfying form on a canvas inspired by the paintings of Joan Miro.

Another painter, Paul Delvaux, inspired the strongest music on the disc, the guitar concerto To the Edge of Dream. Appropriately, in view of Delvaux's work, a distinct sense of menace emerges here to offset the more tranquil moods, and the orchestral contribution serves to control the guitar's improvisatory tendencies. We probably hear more of the guitar relative to the orchestra than would be the case in the concert-hall, but there is nothing unreasonably artificial about the result.

-- Gramophone [1/1992]
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Works on This Recording

1.
To the Edge of Dream by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  John Williams (Guitar)
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1983; Japan 
2.
Toward the Sea I by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  John Williams (Guitar), Sebastian Bell (Flute)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Japan 
Notes: Composition written: Japan (1981).
Composition revised: Japan (1983).
Composition revised: Japan (1989). 
3.
Vers, L'arc-en-ciel, Palma by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Gareth Hulse (Oboe d'amore), John Williams (Guitar)
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; Japan 
4.
Folios by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  John Williams (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1974; Japan 
5.
Songs (12) for Guitar: Here, There and Everywhere by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  John Williams (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977; Japan 
6.
Songs (12) for Guitar: Amours perdues by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  John Williams (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977; Japan 
7.
Songs (12) for Guitar: Summertime by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  John Williams (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977; Japan 
8.
Songs (12) for Guitar: What a Friend by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  John Williams (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977; Japan 

Sound Samples

To the Edge of Dream for Guitar and Orchestra
I. (quarter note = 68-72)
II. (eighth note = 96-120)
III. (eighth note = 120-146)
1. The Night
2. Moby Dick
3. Cape Cod
Here, There and Everywhere
What a Friend
Amours Perdues
Summertime
Vers, L'Arc-en-Ciel, Palma for Oboe d'amore, Guitar and Orchestra

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