ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Music from Japan
WORKS: Takemitsu: Twill by Twilight
PERFORMER: Minoru Nojima (piano); Yomiuri Nippon SO/Tadaaki Otaka
CATALOGUE NO: CD DCA 1021
Toru Takemitsu has largely eclipsed the view from abroad of other Japanese composers. So it’s good to hear works by three of his compatriots in addition to his own Twill by Twilight, a moving memorial to Morton Feldman. All four compositions date from between 1978 and 1988.
Noesis, by Akira Miyoshi (b1933), is colourful, sometimes brash, in a way which recalls Messiaen, also a crucial influence on Takemitsu. Threnody to Toki, for piano and strings, by Takashi Yoshimatsu (b1953), offers an affecting and surprisingly un-Messiaenic tribute to the nearly extinct, exotic bird of that name. The two-movement Second Piano Concerto by Teizo Matsumura (b1929) follows undistinguished alternations of bombast and lyricism with anonymously dissonant post-Romanticism. Reasonable performances. Keith Potter