Toru Takemitsu

Biography

Born: October 8, 1931; Japan   Died: February 20, 1996; Japan   Period: 20th Century
Toru Takemitsu (1931-1996) was a self-taught Japanese composer who combined elements of Eastern and Western music and philosophy to create a unique sound world. Some of his early influences were the sonorities of Debussy, and Messiaen's use of nature imagery and modal scales. There is a certain influence of Webern in Takemitsu's use of silence, and Cage in his compositional philosophy, but his overall style is uniquely his own. Takemitsu Read more believed in music as a means of ordering or contextualizing everyday sound in order to make it meaningful or comprehensible. His philosophy of "sound as life" lay behind his incorporation of natural sounds, as well as his desire to juxtapose and reconcile opposing elements such as Orient and Occident, sound and silence, and tradition and innovation. From the beginning, Takemitsu wrote highly experimental music involving improvisation, graphic notation, unusual combinations of instruments and recorded sounds. The result is music of great beauty and originality. It is usually slowly paced and quiet, but also capable of great intensity. The variety, quantity and consistency of Takemitsu's output are remarkable considering that he never worked within any kind of conventional framework or genre. In addition to the several hundred independent works of music, he scored over ninety films and published twenty books.

Takemitsu had no important teachers, and his musical career really began with the formation of the Jikken Kobo (Experimental Workshop) to promote and perform mixed-media art works. It was Stravinsky's acclaim of the Requiem for strings in 1959 that launched Takemitsu's international career. The next few years produced a wide variety of works including Takemitsu's prolific film work, and numerous new music concerts and festivals that culminated in 1967 with a commission for the 125th anniversary of the New York Philharmonic. By this time, Takemitsu had begun using traditional Japanese instruments in his music. November Steps is one of his most successful combinations of Eastern and Western music; Takemitsu's style was created from, and rooted in both. Takemitsu's international fame skyrocketed after this premiere, flooding him with commissions and honors that established him as one of the most influential Japanese composers of the century. Read less

Browse 1-25 of 152 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Debussy: String Quartet - Takemitsu: Nostalghia / Scottish Ensemble
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 512 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Toru Takemitsu
    Performer:  Alastair Savage,  Sharron Griffiths,  Ben Norris,  Laura Comini  ... 
    Conductor:  Jonathan Morton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Ensemble
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  • 2.
    Water / Helene Grimaud (Limited Edition)
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002483102 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luciano Berio,  Nitin Sawhney,  Toru Takemitsu,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Hélčne Grimaud,  Nitin Sawhney
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  • 3.
    Simon Rattle & His Soloists: The CBSO Years
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555058 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Cécile Ousset,  Nigel Kennedy,  Lynn Harrell,  Marielle Labčque  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  London Sinfonietta
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    CD: $47.99
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  • 4.
    John Williams: The Complete Columbia Album Collection [58 CD + 1 DVD]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 309294 Release Date: 03/04/2016   Number of Discs: 59
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Isaac Albeniz,  Francisco Tarrega,  Joaquin Turina  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Julian Bream,  Carlos Bonell,  Brian Gascoigne  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves,  Daniel Barenboim,  John Williams,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  London Sinfonietta,  String Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Water / Helene Grimaud [Deluxe Digipack]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002442702 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luciano Berio,  Nitin Sawhney,  Toru Takemitsu,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Hélčne Grimaud,  Nitin Sawhney
    CD: $21.99
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  • 6.
    Water / Helene Grimaud [Transparent Vinyl 2 LP]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002442901 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Luciano Berio,  Nitin Sawhney,  Toru Takemitsu,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Hélčne Grimaud,  Nitin Sawhney
    LP: $32.49
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  • 7.
    Another Troy For Her
    Label: Contrastes   Catalog: CR201505 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Toru Takemitsu,  Nicholas Maw
    Performer:  Thomas Csaba
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  • 8.
    In The Beginning
    Label: Contrastes   Catalog: CR201504 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Juan Manén,  Simone Iannarelli,  Dusan Bogdanovic,  Gerard Drozd  ... 
    Performer:  Zoran Dukic
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  • 9.
    Japanese Guitar Music, Vol. 2
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573457 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hiroshi Hara,  Akira Miyoshi,  Shin-Ichiro Ikebe,  Toshio Hosokawa  ... 
    Performer:  Shin-ichi Fukuda
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  • 10.
    Blackwattle Caprices
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 77017 Release Date: 01/05/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joaquin Malats,  Sir William Walton,  Toru Takemitsu,  Kathleen Brennan  ... 
    Performer:  Jacob Cordover
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  • 11.
    Distance
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 99073 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luciano Berio,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Toru Takemitsu,  Benedetto Marcello  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo FugARTo
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  • 12.
    Flute Voyage
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 99084 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Carl Reinecke,  Jean Françaix,  Toru Takemitsu  ... 
    Performer:  Birgit Ramsl,  Vito Lattarulo
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  • 13.
    Pictures / Tao
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552763 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Conrad Tao,  Elliott Carter,  Toru Takemitsu  ... 
    Performer:  Conrad Tao
    CD: $16.99
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  • 14.
    Fluxus Piano
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 6131911 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sylvano Bussotti,  Toru Takemitsu,  Toshi Ichiyanagi,  Philip Corner  ... 
    Performer:  Steffen Schleiermacher
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  • 15.
    The Museaux Trio
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1581 Release Date: 08/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toru Takemitsu,  Claude Debussy,  Karim Al-Zand
    Performer:  Sydney Carlson,  Denise Fujikawa,  Brian Quincey
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Museaux Trio
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  • 16.
    Masterworks of the 20th Century
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875061902 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Pierre Boulez,  Toru Takemitsu,  Igor Stravinsky,  Gunther Schuller  ... 
    Performer:  Yvonne Minton,  Yuji Takahashi,  James Pappoutsakis,  John Kirkpatrick  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Seiji Ozawa,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Danlee Mitchell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Musique Vivante,  New Philharmonia Strings,  Toronto Symphony  ... 
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  • 17.
    Japanese Guitar Concertos - Takemitsu, Hosokawa, Hayashi / Masao Tanibe
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 9011901 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toru Takemitsu,  Toshio Hosokawa,  Hikaru Hayashi
    Performer:  Masao Tanibe
    Conductor:  Naoshi Takahashi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Erzgebirgische Philharmonie Aue
    SuperAudio CD: $20.99
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  • 18.
    Seiji Ozawa - The Philips Years: Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002185602 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Mariko Kobayashi,  Everett Firth,  Hiroshi Arimori,  Sawako Yasue  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Saito Kinen Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers  ... 
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    CD: $175.49
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  • 19.
    La Fauvette Passerinette: A Messiaen Premiere With Birds, Landscapes & Homages
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34141 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Olivier Messiaen,  Toru Takemitsu,  Peter Sculthorpe,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Hill
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  • 20.
    5 Classic Albums / Isbin
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 624364 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Antonio Lauro,  Isaias Savio,  Leo Brouwer,  Benito Canonico  ... 
    Performer:  Gaudencio Thiago de Mello,  Sharon Isbin,  Paul Winter
    Conductor:  Muhai Tang,  Howard Griffiths,  José Serebrier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gulbenkian Foundation Symphony Orchestra Lisbon,  Zurich Chamber Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 21.
    Takemitsu, Debussy, Gubaidulina / Tre Voci
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 002167702 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toru Takemitsu,  Claude Debussy,  Sofia Gubaidulina
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tre Voci
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  • 22.
    Toru Takemitsu: November Steps
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002141902 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toru Takemitsu
    Performer:  Nobuko Imai,  Katsuya Yokoyama,  Kinshi Tsuruta,  Roger Woodward
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Orchestra
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    CD: $14.99
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  • 23.
    Places Of The Spirit: Music And Images Inspired By The Berkshires
    Label: Pergola   Catalog: 851 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaelic Traditional,  Toru Takemitsu,  Peter Schickele,  Paula Robison  ... 
    Performer:  Cyro Baptista,  Paula Robison
    On sale! $35.98
    CD: $31.99
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  • 24.
    Voices In The Wind / Leonard Garrison
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3363 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toru Takemitsu,  Ian Clarke,  Gergely Ittzés,  Kaija Saariaho  ... 
    Performer:  Leonard Garrison
    CD: $17.99
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  • 25.
    Japanese Guitar Music, Vol. 1 - Takemitsu, Brouwer / Shin-ichi Fukada
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 573153 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leo Brouwer,  Toru Takemitsu
    Performer:  Shin-ichi Fukada
    CD: $12.99
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