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20/21 - Takemitsu: Quotation Of Dream, Etc / Knussen, Et Al


Release Date: 02/09/1999 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 453495   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Peter SerkinPaul CrossleySebastian BellAndrew Crowley,   ... 
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

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

1.
Signals from Heaven: no 1, Day Signal by Toru Takemitsu
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  Watford, The Colosseum 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
2.
Quotation of Dream by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Peter Serkin (Piano), Paul Crossley (Piano)
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991 
Date of Recording: 03/1997 
Venue:  Watford, The Colosseum 
Length: 16 Minutes 12 Secs. 
3.
Antiphonal Fanfares "How Slow the Wind" by Toru Takemitsu
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  Watford, The Colosseum 
Length: 10 Minutes 42 Secs. 
4.
Twill by Twilight by Toru Takemitsu
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988; Japan 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 12 Minutes 39 Secs. 
5.
Archipelago S. for 21 Players by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Sebastian Bell (Flute), Andrew Crowley (Trumpet), Mark van de Wiel (Clarinet),
Michael Thompson (French Horn), Michael Collins (Clarinet), John Orford (Bassoon),
Gareth Hulse (Oboe)
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; Japan 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 12 Minutes 2 Secs. 
6.
Dream/Window by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Timothy Gill (Cello), Timothy Lines (Clarinet), Sebastian Bell (Flute),
Paul Silverthorne (Viola), Rebecca Hirsch (Violin), Joan Atherton (Violin)
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1985; Japan 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  Watford, The Colosseum 
Length: 13 Minutes 41 Secs. 
7.
Signals from Heaven: no 2, Night Signal by Toru Takemitsu
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 19 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Day Signal (1987) - Signals from Heaven I - Antiphonal Fanfare for two brass groups
Quotation of Dream (1991) - Say sea, take me! - for two pianos and orchestra
How Slow the Wind (1991) for chamber orchestra
Twill by Twilight (1988) - In Memory of Morton Feldman - for large orchestra
Archipelago S. (1993) for 21 players
Dream/Window (1985) for orchestra
Night Signal (1987) - Signals from Heaven II - Antiphonal Fanfare for two brass groups

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