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  • I Hear the Water Dreaming
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I Hear the Water Dreaming

7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 13, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Takemitsu, who died in 1996, wrote everything from movie music to Beatles arrangements to avant-garde chamber music. In his best works, he draws simultaneously on the traditional idiom of Japan and the most advanced contemporary techniques. All this music was written (or, in one case, arranged) for flute solo, and Patrick Gallois proves a most satisfying interpreter, getting into the composer's skin and playing with a most convincing sense of inner quiet. One misconceived idea mars the disc, though. Takemitsu had good reasons for producing three versions of Toward the Sea, a lovely and imaginative piece. But even when separated by other pieces, they don't make for satisfying listening on one program. (Given the choice, I would have picked the orchestral version for its added color.) Still, with such fine performances and sound, there's enough music on the disc to make it worth picking up if the idiom appeals to you. --Leslie Gerber

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Product Details

  • Performer: Patrick Gallois
  • Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Andrew Davis
  • Composer: Toru Takemitsu
  • Audio CD (June 13, 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00004SDNY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,392 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Wyote VINE VOICE on July 15, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Sometimes I encounter opinionated people who believe that modern art music as a whole stinks. Other times I find someone interested in the subject, but too nervous to experiment with George Crumb or John Cage or even Schoenberg. These are not the kind of people who would approvingly compare Takemitsu to Debussy or Messiaen. But these are precisely the kind of people to whom I introduce Takemitsu, confident that his beautiful music will seduce them if they approach it with an open spirit.

You do not require an education in music theory to appreciate this; in fact, you might be better off without one. Just listen closely.

As for me, I am far from an expert in music, but Takemitsu is definitely among my favorites. I love "From Me Flows What You Call Time" best of all his work, and I would offer it to you ahead of the music on this CD, although this is probably more approachable just because it is a little less percussive, though no less rythmically startling.

Like all of Takemitsu's music that I've heard, this music is very peaceful on the surface, with quickly passing moments of conflict--though repeated listening reveals more and more subdued tension to me. Takemitsu teaches me not merely to wait patienty for the music, but to appreciate the silence as attentively as the sound. Simple sounds in Takemitsu's music sometimes seem so intense, silence is required as a balance, sometimes even a relief. And then, harmony comes as a kind of sweet delight that would be unbearable in abundance.

At first his music made me feel a contrast between woodwind and string; but more and more I find myself experiencing them as a single, inseparable sound in his music, as if they came from a single instrument.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ed Brickell on July 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Sparse, often quiet and highly impressionistic, Takemitsu reminds me of Debussy in his skill at orchestral color and his ability to evoke strong images through sound. On this recording Patrick Gallois' lovely flute playing is the star of the show, weaving a strongly meditative mood in the seven pieces here (all 13 minutes or less).
Takemitsu's mastery of the orchestra isn't immediately apparent because he used the (at times) huge ensembles he wrote for so sparingly, but his subtlties do indeed hold up to repeated listening. Still, less is definitely more in the world of Takemitsu, and those used to strong western-style musical discourse may find it lacking in substance at first. I for one have listened to his compositions many times and for me, it is always an interesting experience.
Recommended for those looking for a softer, quieter, but still genuinely musical experience in contemporary "classical" music.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This Deutsche Grammophon disc, part of the "20/21" series of contemporary music recordings, contains seven works by Toru Takemitsu with a spotlight on the flute, performed here by Patrick Gallois. Gallois is occasionally joined by guitarist Goeran Soellscher, harpist Fabrice Pierre, violist Pierre Henri Xuereb, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Davis. All of these pieces are from Takemitsu's late period, after he had left behind the wild avant-garde stylings of his middle years, and unfortunately generally show a significant turn towards dullness and stagnation.

The earliest piece here isn't Takemitsu's original, but his 1975 arrangement of Satie's piano work "Le Fils des Etoiles" for flute and harp. This is brief and fairly unremarkable, and the first substantial piece on the album is "Toward the Sea" for alto flute and guitar (1981). This is a fairly enjoyable work, and while I often find the sound of the classical guitar uninteresting, here it is used for background texture against the flute's leaps in a neat way.

Takemitsu went on to write two further arrangements of the musical material in "Toward the Sea", where only the textures were changed and the flute part remained unaltered. The first, "Toward the Sea II" (1981) is for alto flute, harp, and string orchestra, while the second "Toward the Sea III" (1989) is a reduction of the first for alto flute and harp. While not among the lowest parts of his late oeuvres, these arrangements don't stand up to the elegance of the original, and as they are all cut from the same general cloth, putting all three on one disc was a foolish idea.

"I Hear the Water Dreaming" (1987) is a typical work of Takemitsu's late orchestral output, featuring an interest in timbre but with no drama or variations in tempo.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By catherine guelph on October 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I enjoy the quiet, expressive music on this CD. It is music for flute (Patrick Gallois) and orchestra, influenced by French impressionism of the late nineteenth century. LE FILS DES ETOILES is adapted from Erik Satie. The music elevates silence to an importance equal with sound. Just as there can be no wave without a trough, there can be no sound without silence. I am reminded of waves by the undulating melodies of the flute accompanied by guitar in TOWARD THE SEA (I). Takemitsu-sensei (1930-1996) was a prolific composer, who was largely self-taught. He composed scores for 93 films in his forty year career. Among the distinguished directors he has worked with are, Kurosawa, Teshigahara, Imamura, Shinoda and Oshima. By way of an incomplete example, some of the esteemed films he has been involved with are Kuroi Ami (Black Rain 1989), Ran (1985), Ai no borei (L' Empire de la Passion 1978), Dodesukaden (1970), and Suna no onna (Woman in the Dunes 1964). If you are interested in the artistry of one of Japan's most reknowned composers, or if you are interested in quiet, flute music, this CD will interest you.
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