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Sunday, August 06, 2006

CD REVIEW - TAKEMITSU: A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden

Naxos 8.557760 (EU)
7 Tracks 62:37 mins

Most of the music presented on this disc, which was incidentally recorded at the Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, England in January 2005, and is performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Marin Alsop, was written by the late Japanese composer for the concert hall and will therefore hold limited interest for film music fans.
Spirit Garden (1994), Solitude Sonore (1958), Dreamtime (1981) and the music that gives the disc its title (1977), all feature music that is hard to warm too. Despite what the liner notes might lead you to believe, there is little or no melody to be heard and I would best liken the music to that composed by Bernard Herrmann and especially Leonard Rosenman for films, particularly the latter in his serial style.
The three pieces for film, under the banner "Three Film Scores for String Orchestra," feature "Music of Training and Rest" from 1959's Jose Torres, which hints somewhat at Alex North's music for A Streetcar Named Desire, but does turn almost romantic later on; "Funeral Music" from 1989's Black Rain, which features mournful, Herrmanneseque strings, before developing a sense of intrigue; and "Waltz" from 1966's Face of Another, whcih is just that - a good, old-fashioned waltz.
A hard disc to like then - or even to stay awake to, but a good respresentation of Toru Takemistu's work.


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