Author Topic: Takemitsu: Sounds as intense as silence  (Read 15086 times)

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Offline Moonfish

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Re: Takemitsu: Sounds as intense as silence
« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2014, 07:54:44 AM »
this one-star Amazon review ahould help get you closer:

what a great endorsement (even if misinformed)

Ha ha! Well, it is the tonality that makes it "attractive" in the first place, but I can see how it can be a deterrent for some listeners. 
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Offline EigenUser

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Re: Takemitsu: Sounds as intense as silence
« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2014, 07:58:27 AM »
Ha ha! Well, it is the tonality that makes it "attractive" in the first place, but I can see how it can be a deterrent for some listeners.
Hmmm... Takemitsu isn't difficult at all to listen to. Then again, we don't know what the reviewer's listening habits are.

Listening to "Spirit Garden" now. Recommended.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRiF8MjHp_I
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Re: Takemitsu: Sounds as intense as silence
« Reply #42 on: May 07, 2014, 08:29:30 AM »
Ha ha! Well, it is the tonality that makes it "attractive" in the first place, but I can see how it can be a deterrent for some listeners.
Moonfish! Watch out!
Here is a recording I found of Nate singing the praises of Takemitsu. Watch, and be afraid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77umP7IRxD4

Offline Moonfish

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Re: Takemitsu: Sounds as intense as silence
« Reply #43 on: May 07, 2014, 08:32:58 AM »
Moonfish! Watch out!
Here is a recording I found of Nate singing the praises of Takemitsu. Watch, and be afraid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77umP7IRxD4

Isn't that from one of GMG's hazing rituals...?
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Offline EigenUser

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Re: Takemitsu: Sounds as intense as silence
« Reply #44 on: May 07, 2014, 02:48:50 PM »
Moonfish! Watch out!
Here is a recording I found of Nate singing the praises of Takemitsu. Watch, and be afraid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77umP7IRxD4
Oh dear, I was hoping that this wouldn't be revealed to the public :-[.

Oh well, I can just tell people that it's James singing the praises of KS!
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

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Re: Takemitsu: Sounds as intense as silence
« Reply #45 on: May 07, 2014, 03:05:16 PM »
Oh dear, I was hoping that this wouldn't be revealed to the public :-[.

Oh well, I can just tell people that it's James singing the praises of KS!

No, that one's here http://youtu.be/rKZ5bP1wsB0

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Takemitsu: Sounds as intense as silence
« Reply #46 on: August 10, 2015, 03:36:47 PM »
Cross-posted from the 'Purchases' thread:

Just bought:





And this 7-CD set of film music:



And one more...



Does anyone own any of these recordings? I'm sure not many here own the box of film music however.
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Offline CRCulver

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Re: Takemitsu: Sounds as intense as silence
« Reply #47 on: August 11, 2015, 01:02:58 AM »
Most of those Denon discs were reissued in a cheap Brilliant Classics box set some years back, though unfortunately not all of the pieces. (At the time I was interested, those Denon discs were rather expensive imports, so I just ended up buying the Brilliant Classics box and ripping the missing pieces from the Denon discs at the library.)
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 01:07:17 AM by CRCulver »

Offline San Antone

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Re: Takemitsu: Sounds as intense as silence
« Reply #48 on: October 08, 2015, 05:04:09 AM »
Toru Takemitsu : born today in 1930



He was by far the most celebrated of Japanese composers, although his position in the firmament of modern music was not exactly dominant; some Western commentators condescendingly described him as an artist of a decorative type, a purveyor of atmospheric wisps of sound.  Critics have underestimated Takemitsu because of the unstinting sensuousness of his music. It is rich in opulent chords, luminous textures, exotic tones that almost brush the skin, hazy melodies that move like figures in mist. The titles give a sense of the sound: “Twill by Twilight,” “Toward the Sea,” “How Slow the Wind.” Yet the picture-book atmosphere is periodically disrupted by harsh timbres, rumblings of dissonance, engulfing masses of tone. Loveliness vanishes into darkness before it can be fully apprehended, like the song that Takemitsu heard inside the mountain. (Alex Ross, The New Yorker)

More info and audio clip here.

Offline snyprrr

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MY TAKEMITSU PROBLEM
« Reply #49 on: October 20, 2016, 08:41:40 AM »
I might have Posted this before, but, please, help me with my Takemitsu problem. I have seven discs and I can barely tell them apart, lol, what am I to do? Here they are (probably again):

'Cantos'- Stoltzman/RCA

'Orchestral Works' - Nexus/SONY ('From Me Flows...')

Knussen/Virgin chamber disc

Williams/SONY guitar disc

DENON 'Gemeaux', 'Dream/Window', 'Spirit Garden'

ABC Classics- Melbourne SO/Iwaki- various pieces

DG 'Quotation of Dream'



I'm looking at over 600 entries on Amazon. It's dizzying...

Maybe I keep thinking Debussy? I just can't seem to relax to TT, which seems to be the whole point? I can never tell one piece from the next, unless there's a concertante instrument in the mix, and even then it still "sounds" the same.

Ugh.

I've got 'em all sitting here. 'How Slow the Wind' on right now (DG).




What am I missing?
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Offline Mahlerian

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Re: MY TAKEMITSU PROBLEM
« Reply #50 on: October 20, 2016, 08:51:01 AM »
I'm looking at over 600 entries on Amazon. It's dizzying...

Maybe I keep thinking Debussy? I just can't seem to relax to TT, which seems to be the whole point? I can never tell one piece from the next, unless there's a concertante instrument in the mix, and even then it still "sounds" the same.

Ugh.

What am I missing?

Although Takemitsu's music does have a meditative bent, it's not meant to be "relaxing" in the sense of easy listening or anything.  The style is related to both Debussy and Messiaen, to be sure, but neither of them truly wanted to write "relaxing" music in that sense either.  His music has a dream-like logic where ideas appear and reappear as echoes and subtly varied reprises.  The lack of pulse and the slow tempo are pretty consistent throughout his oeuvre, but there's a good deal of variety within the works, even though the surfaces may sound similar.  His earlier music, also, tends to sound closer to the avant-garde than his later music:

Stanza II, for Harp and Tape: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTFp_LvL8Bc
Asterism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5TAk1qrBgI
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 08:54:28 AM by Mahlerian »
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: MY TAKEMITSU PROBLEM
« Reply #51 on: October 20, 2016, 08:53:33 AM »
I might have Posted this before, but, please, help me with my Takemitsu problem. I have seven discs and I can barely tell them apart, lol, what am I to do?

'
That's my take as well: it's like he wrote the same piece of music over and over again.

Offline snyprrr

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Re: MY TAKEMITSU PROBLEM
« Reply #52 on: October 20, 2016, 08:57:59 AM »
Although Takemitsu's music does have a meditative bent, it's not meant to be "relaxing" in the sense of easy listening or anything.  His music has a dream-like logic where ideas appear and reappear as echoes and subtly varied reprises.  The lack of pulse and the slow tempo are pretty consistent throughout his oeuvre, but there's a good deal of variety within the works, even though the surfaces may sound similar.  His earlier music, also, tends to sound closer to the avant-garde than his later music:

Stanza II, for Harp and Tape: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTFp_LvL8Bc
Asterism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5TAk1qrBgI

No, I get that... "not relaxing" and "earlier music more avant"... but I'm curious if there's anything that's out of the ordinary (whatever that means)...

maybe I'm not actually looking... but, TT has always been a problem, and here I sit with seven packed full CDs with no discernible "go to". Perhaps it's the 'From Me Flows...', or the guitar concertos... but then the violin concertos sound just the same... and the oboe concerto... and... and...


I checked out that 'Green' and 'Arc' recording of his more avant phase but wasn't really moved...

Wondering about the Ozawa/Philips disc with the Viola Concerto...




That's my take as well: it's like he wrote the same piece of music over and over again.

mmmm... ennui in sound...
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Offline Mahlerian

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Re: MY TAKEMITSU PROBLEM
« Reply #53 on: October 20, 2016, 09:05:12 AM »
No, I get that... "not relaxing" and "earlier music more avant"... but I'm curious if there's anything that's out of the ordinary (whatever that means)...

maybe I'm not actually looking... but, TT has always been a problem, and here I sit with seven packed full CDs with no discernible "go to". Perhaps it's the 'From Me Flows...', or the guitar concertos... but then the violin concertos sound just the same... and the oboe concerto... and... and...


I checked out that 'Green' and 'Arc' recording of his more avant phase but wasn't really moved...

Wondering about the Ozawa/Philips disc with the Viola Concerto...

Well, I certainly consider him an exceptional composer, and beyond all doubt the finest Japan has yet produced (Hosokawa has written some fine works, though).

To me, it's the sense of color, of poetry, the subtle shadings of harmony and perspective throughout a work that attract me to his music.  The form seems to be in a perpetual process of creating and recreating itself, and the stillnesses and silences become events in themselves.
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Drasko

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Re: MY TAKEMITSU PROBLEM
« Reply #54 on: October 20, 2016, 09:37:20 AM »
... but I'm curious if there's anything that's out of the ordinary (whatever that means)...



which is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkdTXW2G4Sc

or complete In an Autumn Garden:



http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/product/SICC-85


Offline nathanb

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Re: MY TAKEMITSU PROBLEM
« Reply #55 on: October 20, 2016, 06:46:48 PM »
Well, I certainly consider him an exceptional composer, and beyond all doubt the finest Japan has yet produced (Hosokawa has written some fine works, though).

I will admit that, although I consider Takemitsu to be a brilliant composer, I wonder if Ichiyanagi could rise to a similar position if his recorded oeuvre was the same size.

Offline CRCulver

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Re: Takemitsu: Sounds as intense as silence
« Reply #56 on: October 20, 2016, 07:51:08 PM »
While I would agree with the criticism that Takemitsu “wrote the same work over and over again”, I would consider that true only for his music from the last 20 years of his life. And even for that period, it’s easy to hear the difference between the works that explore the S-E-A motif in various ways and those that don’t feature that motif at all.

But for the 1960s and 1970s, Takemitsu was working in several different areas: some works are aleatoric, some are overtly serialist in a vaguely Boulezian way, some deal with Japanese music in a direct way, and some primarily follow the model of Debussy or Messiaen.

Peter Burt’s book on Takemitsu’s oeuvre is worth reading. He breaks Takemitsu’s career down into different periods.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Takemitsu: Sounds as intense as silence
« Reply #57 on: October 20, 2016, 08:06:21 PM »
I admit I haven't been able to "get into" Takemitsu either.

Despite this, I've thoroughly enjoyed several of his works, and think his approach to Japanese influenced harmony is wonderful.
What do you think would excite a modernist like me?  :)

Looking outside his classical oeuvre, I'd highly suggest checking out his film score Ran. The connections between this work and Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde are quite fascinating.
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: MY TAKEMITSU PROBLEM
« Reply #58 on: October 21, 2016, 05:26:03 AM »
Well, I certainly consider him an exceptional composer, and beyond all doubt the finest Japan has yet produced (Hosokawa has written some fine works, though).

To me, it's the sense of color, of poetry, the subtle shadings of harmony and perspective throughout a work that attract me to his music.  The form seems to be in a perpetual process of creating and recreating itself, and the stillnesses and silences become events in themselves.

So, I've limited myself to one piece, and it just happened to be 'How Slow the Wind' (1991). The first time it just passed by. Now I'm on my third, and I really am hearing it moment by moment. It sounds like Feldman+Messiaen. I think that's why so much TT sounds this way- no one criticizes Feldman for his pieces sounding the same.

TT has that rapturous quality, but neverNeverNEVER - or, always seems to cut off the rapture right when it wants to spill over into Szymanowski territory. He's very trimmed, clipped, like a Japanese garden. No over perfuming, but, always perfumed.

So, now, if this one piece was all I knew by TT, well, yea, I'd go on an MI styled buy-a-thon. But this time we're going to take our time.



WHY DON'T WE ALL LISTEN TO "How Slow the Wind'? Listen to it a couple of times if you have to, but try to see what makes this work special or different. Or not. As I said, taken by itself, as I'm pretending I've never heard TT before, I find it very very cool. Who IS this cat?, I would ask myself.


anyhow


TT's Works List of "Concert Music" isn't that vast, and, with my 7 CDs I have a very good representation of many of his best eras


(whoops, 10  hours later).... it's morning now, will have to finish later
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: Takemitsu: Sounds as intense as silence
« Reply #59 on: October 21, 2016, 03:28:45 PM »
Quotation of Dream (1991)

Another work from the DG disc. This is a 2 Piano Concerto, so there is measurable difference between this and 'How Slow the Wind'. I hear a certain conch gong sound in both pieces; otherwise, this piece sounds more like Messiaen proper. One does notice that TT does maintain a thoroughly Modern sound no matter what, even if it is usually consonant.

Just by listening closely to these two works, on a disc I've had for decades, I realize I haven't really heard them at all. If you told me 'How Slow the Wind' was a "departure for Ligeti in 1972" I would be most impressed. It just sounds Moderne.

It does take some time to get to know these pieces, maybe that's the point?
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