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Confronting Silence: Selected Writings (Fallen Leaf Monographs on Contemporary Composers) Paperback – January 1, 1995
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"This fine book...is an excellent introduction to the original and provacative thinking of one of today's most important composers. The translation preserves the color and elegance of his prose." (American Music Teacher)
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Japanese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
"Notes on November Steps" is a series of reminisces on the 1967 composition and premier of Takemitsu's great piece combining the Western orchestra with two Japanese instruments, the biwa and shakuhachi. The description of the challenges Takemitsu faced in combining these two traditions, and of the tension between the modern composer and conservative orchestra are highly interesting and make for greater appreciation of the piece. "Dream and Number" is an exegesis of his several of his pieces, most notably "A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden", telling of inspirations from dreams and the abundance of reference to the number five. It is lavishly illustrated with score samples. It is the only substantial musicological writing here. "Sound of East, Sound of West" consists of musings on the special traits of certain indigenous musical traditions of the world, and contains some worthwhile thoughts on Japanese music and their exportability.
Most of the pieces, however, are fluff. An obituary essay in memory of Feldman, Nono, and Messiaen is just a simple explanation of who they were and when they died, without any clear information on how they influenced Takemitsu's music. Some of the content is repeated, for how many times do we need the same description of the biwa? "Nature and Music", apparently extracts from Takemitsu's diary, are written in an exceedingly hermetic style that doesn't communicate well with the reader. All in all, I'd recommend this book only to committed fans of Takemitsu, and flipping through it in a university library may be the best course of action. If you are looking for a book-length treatment of Takemitsu and his work, Peter Burt's THE MUSIC OF TORU TAKEMITSU (Cambridge University Press, 2001) is the thing to get.