WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Ohguri: Violin Concerto, Fantasy, Etc / Takagi, Shimono


Release Date: 05/20/2003 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8555321   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Hiroshi Ohguri
Performer:  Kazuhiro Takagi
Conductor:  Tatsuya Shimono
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


Hiroshi Ohguri (1918-82) found musical inspiration in the culture of Osaka, where he spent most of his life and enjoyed the patronage of legendary (in Japan, anyway) conductor Takashi Asahina and the Osaka Philharmonic. It should come as no surprise, then, that these performances are uniformly excellent--but what may come as a surprise is the excellent quality of the music as well. Ohguri was no mere romantic nationalist of a 19th-century cast, but rather was a composer with a recognizable personal style steeped in the idioms of his native folk music. In this he perhaps resembles Kodály more than anyone else, not just in his colorful orchestral and harmonic idiom, but also in the evident
Read more taste that governs his choice of melodies, whether borrowed or original.


Ohguri's Violin Concerto sounds a bit like Shostakovich (specifically the First Cello Concerto) in its first movement, and if its recourse to textbook sonata-form sounds a bit still, the actual thematic material and presentation sustain interest throughout. The slow movement rises to a final climax of remarkable intensity, and the finale is a sure crowd pleaser. Kazuhiro Takagi deftly negotiates the work's virtuoso challenges, playing with a small but well focused tone and a deft bow. The two free-form works based on folk tunes, the Fantasy and Rhapsody respectively, will find favor with anyone who enjoys, say, Kodály's Dances of Galanta or similar works. They exhibit great charm, superior craftsmanship, and last not a second too long.


Ohguri's Legend for Orchestra surely belongs in the repertoire of orchestras everywhere. It's a delightful work that tells a marvelous mythological story: the sun-god's brother comes for a visit and behaves so obnoxiously that in disgust the sun seals himself off behind a rock, plunging the earth into darkness. The remaining gods, concerned by this turn of events, lure him back out by staging a wild party featuring a sexy nude female goddess. When the sun-god pokes his head out of his hiding place to find out what's going on, they drag him out, the sun returns to warm the earth, and everyone celebrates.


Ohguri describes all of this in music of irresistible color, energy, and formal elegance, and like all of the music on this disc it's splendidly played by the composer's home-town team under Tatsuya Shimono. Naxos also provides first-class sonics. All of the releases so far in the label's Japanese music series have been worth hearing, but this one is a real gem--and hopefully will not be the only disc devoted to this very enjoyable and talented composer.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Fantasy on Osaka Folk Tunes by Hiroshi Ohguri
Conductor:  Tatsuya Shimono
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
2.
Rhapsody on Osaka Nursery Rhymes by Hiroshi Ohguri
Conductor:  Tatsuya Shimono
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Japan 
3.
Concerto for Violin by Hiroshi Ohguri
Performer:  Kazuhiro Takagi (Violin)
Conductor:  Tatsuya Shimono
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; Japan 
4.
Legend by Hiroshi Ohguri
Conductor:  Tatsuya Shimono
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Japan 

Sound Samples

Violin Concerto: I. Allegro
Violin Concerto: II. Lento
Violin Concerto: III. Allegro Vivace
Fantasy on Osaka Folk Tunes
Legend for Orchestra (After the Tale of Ama-no-Iwayado): Legend for Orchestra
Rhapsody on Osaka Nursery Rhymes

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In