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Piano Concerto 3 / Symphony 3

I. Ohzawa Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Price: $8.35 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 7 Songs, 2005 $7.99  
Audio CD, 2005 $8.35  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Piano Concerto No. 3 in A flat major, "Kamikaze": I. Larghetto maestoso - Allegro assaiEkaterina Saranceva10:23Album Only
listen  2. Piano Concerto No. 3 in A flat major, "Kamikaze": II. Andante cantabileEkaterina Saranceva 7:58$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Piano Concerto No. 3 in A flat major, "Kamikaze": III. Allegro moderato - Allegro vivaceEkaterina Saranceva 8:00$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Symphony No. 3, "Symphony of the Founding of Japan": I. Allegretto risoluto - AllegroDmitry Yablonsky12:36Album Only
listen  5. Symphony No. 3, "Symphony of the Founding of Japan": II. Adagio graziosoDmitry Yablonsky 5:13$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Symphony No. 3, "Symphony of the Founding of Japan": III. Moderato: Menuet con fantasiaDmitry Yablonsky 8:51Album Only
listen  7. Symphony No. 3, "Symphony of the Founding of Japan": IV. Allegro non troppo con fuocoDmitry Yablonsky11:02Album Only

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 22, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B0007ORDWC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,700 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Hisato Ohzawa, one of the foremost Japanese composers of the first half of the twentieth century, studied in the 1930s in Boston and Paris. He had an excellent command of diverse styles derived from his extensive knowledge of jazz, late Romanticism, Debus

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Piano Concerto and a Symphony Worth Hearing April 15, 2005
Format:Audio CD
It is sad that the family of Japanese composer Hisato Ohzawa (1907-1953) had to, against the tides of fortune, preserve the scores of his works after his music dropped completely from sight after his death, and we are fortunate that the family preserved them so carefully for these two pieces are really worthwhile. After his death he became so obscure that he was not even remembered by very many in the Japanese music scene. He had been in the first generation of Japanese composers to study in the West and unlike many had spent several years in the US studying with the likes of Frederick Converse, Roger Sessions and Arnold Schoenberg. While in the US he was the first Japanese to conduct the Boston Symphony (in his own 'Little Symphony') before he went on to study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. After six years in the West he returned to Japan and remained there the rest of his life. He led an active life in the Kansei district (which includes his hometown, Kobe, as well as Osaka and Kyoto). But that was a conservative part of the country and his music had difficulty being accepted (although to our ears they are extremely easy to assimilate); he was not helped by the rudimentary state of Japanese orchestras in those days.

His Third Piano Concerto has elements reminiscent of Rachmaninoff, Bart'ók and Ravel (with more than a soupç'on of jazzy Gershwin thrown in). The outer movements are virtuosic, rhythmically interesting, and brilliantly orchestrated. Their harmonic language is French cum Russian, their thrust Bartó'kian. The middle movement, which begins with a smoky sax blues, surely was modeled to some degree on the second movement of Ravel's G Major Concerto with some cross-fertilization from Gershwin's Concerto in F. It is simply gorgeous.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naxos' "Music of Japan" Series Hits Paydirt July 20, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Interesting stuff. As might be expected, Hisato Ohzawa's music is derivative, and as the notes to this recording indicate, the sources of inspiration are different for each work. Piano Concerto No. 3, subtitled "Kamikazi," celebrates a fast Japanese commercial plane that flew well before World War II. The music's chief influences are clearly Ravel and Prokofiev. Ravel is the guiding light behind the glittery keyboard runs in the first movement, as well as the jazz-inflected second movement, though the rather saccharine sax solo of this movement also recalls Gerswhin's Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue. Prokofiev lends steel and ice to some of the keyboard writing, and the mercurial-motoric last movement seems indebted to the last movement of Prokofiev's Fourth Concerto, whose coda similarly comes out of nowhere to conclude the piece--kind of inconclusively! If Bartok is there behind Ohzawa's conception--as the other astute reviewer on this page surmises--his influence has been smoothed out a bit: Ohzawa's keyboard writing is more fluid, his writing for the orchestra more streamlined than the granitic, often blocky sound Bartok favors.

Given all these influences, it's very interesting to turn to the symphony, which, though written around the same time and certainly by a fully mature composer, draws from another well. The CD cover postulates Roussel and early Myaskovsky as influences. To this I would add Janacek, especially in the writing for winds and brass--at least, I'd be surprised if Ohzawa didn't know Taras Bulba and the Sinfonietta. Overall, this work, celebrating the 2,600th anniversary of Japan, is more soberly dramatic, more overtly public, as befits the occasion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising Music from Japan March 6, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
What a surprise this disc is! I was expecting music that was heavily Eastern but the music of Hisato Ohzawa is as Western as one could expect from an American composer. In fact, Ohzawa studied in America in New England and even spent some time with Arnold Schoenberg. He also studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, and his music shows a strong affinity with the music of Albert Roussel, Maurice Ravel and Sergei Prokofiev.

He returned to Japan and wrote many large scale works. The Piano Concerto No. 3 (Kamikaze or Wind of God) was composer in 1938. The name given to the concerto refers to an actual civil airplane (not to a war plane) and its travels. The opening movement is energetic with a marvelous interchange between orchestra and soloist. The second movement opens with a jazz inspired solo for saxophone with the piano repeating the melody. The soloist continues to develop the blues-like melody and is later joined by the saxophone repeating the lonely opening melody; the movement drifts into silence. The final movement also has a jazz inspired opening and then takes off with brilliant writing for the soloist beautifully supported by the orchestra and ends rather abruptly.

The Third Symphony was composed in 1936 and 1937 and was subtitled "Symphony for the Founding of Japan," a reference to the 2600th anniversary of Imperial Japan which occurred in 1940. The symphony is as Western looking as the concerto and the influence of Roussel and Myaskovsky are definitely present. The second movement opens with a beguiling melody for winds (with a prominent flute part) which are joined by the strings; the music develops like (for me) a nocturne rather than the funeral march suggested by the commentator with a mysterious underpinning.
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