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The Music of Toru Takemitsu (Music in the Twentieth Century) by Peter Burt

By Peter Burt

Toru Takemitsu (1930–96) was once the easiest identified eastern composer of his
generation, bringing elements of japanese and Western traditions jointly, but he
remained anything of an elusive determine. The composer’s personal commentaries
about his tune, poetic and philosophical in tone, have tended to deepen the
mystery and masses writing on Takemitsu up to now has followed an analogous attitude,
leaving many questions about his compositional tools unanswered. This book
is the 1st whole examine of the composer’s paintings to seem in English. it really is also
the first booklet during this language to provide an in-depth research of his music.
Takemitsu’s works are more and more well-liked by Western audiences and Peter
Burt makes an attempt for the 1st time to make clear the hitherto fairly secretive world
of his operating equipment, in addition to position him in context as inheritor to the wealthy tradition
of eastern composition within the 20th century.

Peter Burt is Vice-Chairman of the Takemitsu Society within the United Kingdom
and editor of the Takemitsu Society e-newsletter. he's at the moment modifying a special
commemorative factor of latest song assessment dedicated to To¯ru Takemitsu.

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Additional info for The Music of Toru Takemitsu (Music in the Twentieth Century)

Sample text

Amongst the various groupings that sprang up in the 1950s alongside such affiliations as Yagi no Kai or Sannin no Kai, there was at least one whose constitution was radically different. Its membership comprised not only composers but artists working in other media; furthermore, the composers working within this group were autodidacts who had received almost no formal education in music, and were thus somewhat marginal to the ‘official’ Japanese composing community. The group in question was called Jikken Ko¯bo¯, the ‘Experimental Workshop’, and its presence on the map of post-war Japanese music marks one of the beginnings of the emergence of a true avant-garde, of an alternative to ‘academic’ tradition or ‘nationalist’ rhetoric.

1’, and, additionally, the score of the Lento was – as the composer later expressed it in his preface to the score of Litany – subsequently ‘lost’. Nevertheless, as matters turned out, some musical documentation of this period was to survive in one form or another, and it is on the basis of this that the following speculations on the compositional preoccupations of Takemitsu’s ‘pre-musical’ years are offered. Début of ‘the Lento composer’ Takemitsu may have destroyed the score of Kakehi, but he did not succeed in eradicating all evidence of his juvenile pentatonic-nationalist sympathies.

It is to a discussion of this next phase in Takemitsu’s artistic career, then, and the artistic alliances that coalesced as a result partly of Takiguchi’s influence, that attention must now be turned. 3 Experimental workshop: the years of Jikken Ko¯ bo¯ 39 Takemitsu’s first exposure to public criticism may ultimately have ended in tears, but the Shinsakkyokuha evening which featured his compositional début was not without its positive side. In the green room after the performance, Takemitsu met two figures who were to become important allies: the composer Jo¯ji Yuasa (1929– ), and the poet and music critic Kuniharu Akiyama (1929–96).

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