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 163 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    5 Classic Albums / Sharon 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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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    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
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  • 5.
    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
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  • 6.
    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
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  • 7.
    Takemitsu, Hosokawa: Works For Solo Guitar / Marco Del Greco
    Label: Neos   Catalog: 11317 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toru Takemitsu,  Toshio Hosokawa
    Performer:  Marco Del Greco
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  • 8.
    Nostalgia & Humility / Burggraaf, Ferschtman, Wiegers
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72629 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Hendrik Andriessen,  Toru Takemitsu
    Performer:  Cora Burggraaf,  Liza Ferschtman
    Conductor:  Bas Wiegers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Youth String Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Sonic Philosophy: Colour And Affect
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: 100038 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arvo Pärt,  Olivier Messiaen,  Anton Webern,  Toru Takemitsu  ... 
    Performer:  Hugo Ticciati,  Henrik Mawe
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  • 10.
    The Stream Flows /  Linda Wang
    Label: Equilibrium   Catalog: 120 Release Date: 02/11/2014  
    Composer:  Chen Yi,  Toru Takemitsu,  Bright Sheng,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Linda Wang,  Alice Rybak,  John Kinzie,  Tom Miller
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  • 11.
    La Vallee Des Cloches / Momo Kodama
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 001986202 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Olivier Messiaen,  Toru Takemitsu
    Performer:  Momo Kodama
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  • 12.
    ...a Olivier Messiaen 	/ Susanne Kessel, Leon Milo
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 859 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Olivier Messiaen,  Toru Takemitsu,  Leon Milo,  leeon milo
    Performer:  Susanne Kessel,  Leon Milo
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  • 13.
    Vanish
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: 15195 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Mark Applebaum,  Toru Takemitsu,  Avner Dorman  ... 
    Performer:  Joe Beribak,  Vibraphone] Kevin [Percussion Schlossman,  Derek Tywoniuk,  Wai Wah Wan  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
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  • 14.
    Takemitsu: Asterism, Requiem, Green, Dorian Horizon / Ozawa, Toronto Symphony
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 74931 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toru Takemitsu
    Performer:  Yuji Takahashi
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toronto Symphony
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  • 15.
    Nocturnal / Stefano Grondona
    Label: Stradivarius   Catalog: 33954 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Sir William Walton,  Richard Rodney Bennett,  Toru Takemitsu
    Performer:  Stefano Grondona
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  • 16.
    Bernard Haitink - The Philips Years [20-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001903502 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  Herman Krebbers,  Menahem Pressler,  Isidore Cohen  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
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  • 17.
    Blackwattle Caprices
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 77017 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joaquin Malats,  Sir William Walton,  Toru Takemitsu,  Ross Edwards  ... 
    Performer:  Jacob Cordover
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  • 18.
    Energico
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 6218 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Miguel Llobet,  Rory Boyle,  Toru Takemitsu
    Performer:  Marco Ramelli
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  • 19.
    Takemitsu, Matalon, Debussy, Ravel, Satie, Bax
    Label: Maguelone   Catalog: 111149 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toru Takemitsu,  Erik Satie,  Claude Debussy,  Martin Matalon  ... 
    Performer:  Clara Novakova,  Nicolas Tulliez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Nobis
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  • 20.
    Essential 20th Century Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 234372 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Aram Khachaturian,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Cécile Ousset,  Peter Donohoe,  Stomu Yamashta  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Simon Rattle,  Yuri Temirkanov,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Modern
    CD: $12.99
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  • 21.
    Asian Music For String Quartet / New Zealand Quartet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572488 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Zhou Long,  Chinary Ung,  Gao Ping,  Toru Takemitsu  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand String Quartet
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  • 22.
    Reich, Harrison, Whitacre, Tywoniuk, Ravel  / Smoke And Mirrors Percussion Ensemble
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: 87598 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Steve Reich,  Lou Harrison,  Eric Whitacre,  Derek Tywoniuk  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Smoke And Mirrors Percussion Ensemble
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  • 23.
    John Cage: Shock, Vol. 1
    Label: Em Records   Catalog: 1104 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toru Takemitsu,  Christian Wolff,  John Cage
    Performer:  Yuji Takahashi,  David Tudor,  Kenji Kobayashi,  John Cage
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  • 24.
    Flight - Music For Flute & Harp / Bridget Douglas, Carolyn Mills
    Label: Atoll Records (New Zealand)   Catalog: 709 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toru Takemitsu,  Jack Body,  Tan Dun,  Eve De Castro-Robinson  ... 
    Performer:  Bridget Douglas,  Carolyn Mills,  Arnold Marinissen
    On sale! $21.98
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  • 25.
    Flute And Cello In Dialogue / Ithay Khen, Atsuko Koga
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 12537 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pierre Octave Ferroud,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Toru Takemitsu,  Gaspar Cassadó  ... 
    Performer:  Atsuko Koga,  Ithay Khen
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