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Japanese Classics - Takemitsu: Piano Music / Fukuma


Release Date: 09/25/2007 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570261   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Kotaro Fukuma
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



TAKEMITSU Romance. Lento in due movimenti. Uninterupted Rest. Piano Distance. For Away. Les yeus clos. Les yeux clos II. Rain Tree Sketch. Rain Tree Sketch II. Piano Pieces for Children. Litany Kotaro Fukuma (pn) NAXOS 8.570261 (63:57)


Kotaro Fukuma (b. 1982) received high praise from Susan Kagan in Fanfare 29:2 for a program of Robert Schumann’s works; she called his technique “dazzling” and opined that his version of the Read more style="font-style:italic">Fantasiestücke “leaves nothing to be desired.” The piano music of Toru Takemitsu would seem to require a total reconsideration of touch and temperament, but Fukuma rises to the challenge. He’s certainly capable of phrasing with delicacy, as the opening of Les yeux clos II reveals, with the addition of a biting modernity to the gestures of Piano Distance and a sharp, pointed attack in Uninterrupted Rest . Even so, he continually highlights the lyrical nature of the music, not by emphasizing its flowing qualities, as does Kumi Ogano (Philips—see Fanfare 16:3), or its contemplative breadth, per Roger Woodward (Etcetera), but through a thoughtful balance of dramatic detail and atmospheric resonance. And though his Litany may lack the warmth and sensitivity of that of Peter Serkin (RCA—see Fanfare 20:3), it reinforces Takemitsu’s connection with Debussy.


Another advantage to this disc is its completeness—which is not to say it is complete. Fukuma omits realizations of Takemitsu’s two graphic scores, Corona and Crossing , as does everyone else except for Woodward, who’s recorded them twice (Etcetera and Explore). But Fukuma does include several previously overlooked or rejected pieces—a pair of charming, songlike, albeit ordinary miniatures for children; Lento in due movimenti , the unedited original version of Litany ; and, most interestingly, a Romance from 1949, the composer’s earliest surviving piano work, which combines Japanese modes, elements of Impressionism, and a brusque urgency unheard in his later music. Given the fact that both the Serkin and Woodward discs are not presently available, Fukuma deserves strong consideration for both the quality of his playing and the opportunity to hear these rare pieces.


FANFARE: Art Lange
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Works on This Recording

1. Romance for Piano by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Kotaro Fukuma (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948-1949; Japan 
Date of Recording: 07/2006 
Venue:  Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada 
Length: 4 Minutes 15 Secs. 
2. Litany by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Kotaro Fukuma (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950/1989; Japan 
Date of Recording: 07/2006 
Venue:  Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada 
Length: 9 Minutes 12 Secs. 
3. Uninterrupted rest by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Kotaro Fukuma (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952-1959; Japan 
Date of Recording: 07/2006 
Venue:  Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada 
Length: 6 Minutes 20 Secs. 
4. Piano Distance by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Kotaro Fukuma (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961; Japan 
Date of Recording: 07/2006 
Venue:  Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada 
Length: 4 Minutes 16 Secs. 
5. For Away by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Kotaro Fukuma (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1973; Japan 
Date of Recording: 07/2006 
Venue:  Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada 
Length: 6 Minutes 51 Secs. 
6. Les yeux clos by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Kotaro Fukuma (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; Japan 
Date of Recording: 07/2006 
Venue:  Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada 
Length: 6 Minutes 17 Secs. 
7. Les yeux clos II by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Kotaro Fukuma (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; Japan 
Date of Recording: 07/2006 
Venue:  Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada 
Length: 6 Minutes 44 Secs. 
8. Rain Tree Sketch by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Kotaro Fukuma (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1981; Japan 
Date of Recording: 07/2006 
Venue:  Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
9. Rain Tree Sketch II by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Kotaro Fukuma (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1992; Japan 
Date of Recording: 07/2006 
Venue:  Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
10. Piano Pieces for Children by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Kotaro Fukuma (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; Japan 
Date of Recording: 07/2006 
Venue:  Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto, Canada 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Romance
Lento in due movimenti: I. Adagio
Lento in due movimenti: II. Lento misteriosamente
Pause ininterrompue (Uninterrupted Rests): I. Slowly, sadly and as if to converse with
Pause ininterrompue (Uninterrupted Rests): II. Quietly and with a cruel reverberation
Pause ininterrompue (Uninterrupted Rests): III. A song of love
Piano Distance
For away
Les yeux clos
Les yeux clos II
Rain Tree Sketch
Rain Tree Sketch II
Piano Pieces for Children: No. 1. Breeze
Piano Pieces for Children: No. 2. Clouds
Litany: I. Adagio
Litany: II. Lento misterioso

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