The music of Toru Takemitsu, 20 years after his death

Posted on: October 18, 2016

“In a short meditation about nature and time that Toru Takemitsu wrote for a Tokyo newspaper in 1993, three years before his death, the composer who simultaneously brought a Japanese musical sensibility to the world and a Western musical sensibility to Japan wrote: ‘My music is something like a signal sent to the unknown,’ ” writes Mark Swed in Sunday’s (10/16) Los Angeles Times. “That signal has reverberated widely as Takemitsu, revered in Japan, has become universally regarded as one of the most important postwar composers of concert and film music. Thursday night [in Tokyo], the unknown took on a new dimension. The occasion was a concert in Takemitsu Memorial concert hall marking the 20th anniversary of the composer’s death.… British composer Oliver Knussen conducted the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the oldest … of the 11 full-time orchestras in the greater Tokyo area. Yet this was the finest playing I have ever heard from any of them. In performances of four experimental Takemitsu scores from the 1960s, along with a more amiable one from 1991, the orchestra became like an enchanted body able to set the entire building in audible vibration.”

Posted October 18, 2016