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From Me Flows What You Call Time / Twill by Twilight

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 17, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

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Takemitsu (1930-96) is Japan's greatest composer. He had a diverse musical career, which included work for films. His music partakes of aspects of postmodernism--serial construction, atonal modalities, unusual instrumentation--and all of it hypnotic. The works on this disc are for a chamber-size orchestra and are illuminated by the smaller forces. From Me Flows What You Call Time (1990) brings to mind a set of delicate, atonal wind chimes. Twill by Twilight--In Memory of Morton Feldman (1988) reflects Feldman's juxtapositions and separations, but with a bit more color. Requiem (1957), Takemitsu's first orchestral work, is stunning and very beautiful. --Paul Cook

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Pacific Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Carl St. Clair
  • Composer: Toru Takemitsu
  • Audio CD (March 17, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Run Time: 62 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000029WL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,981 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher Forbes on March 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I've had this record for quite a while now. It's taken some time but the music has really grown on me. The surface glitter of the pieces is immediately apparent. What is not so obvious on first hearing is the profundity of the musical and spiritual thought in these works.
Toru Takemitsu was Japan's foremost composer in the late 20th century, and yet his music rarely sounds blatantly Japanese. The only obvious traditional influences on this CD come at the very beginning of the first piece, Through Me Flows What You Call Time. This work opens with a flute solo that contains techniques from the shakuhatchi repertoire. But quickly, the material of this solo becomes more western, sharing with Messiaen a love of symmetrical scales and modal devices. The piece uses this first flute solo as the spring board to a thirty five minute concerto grosso for orchestra and percussion ensemble. The music is lush, very romantic and colorful. The tonal language reminds me of a mix of Debussy, Scriabin and Messiaen. The melodic material is based primarily on a five note motif from the beginning of the flute solo which morphs into myriad forms. The percussion writing is exquisite...dominated by flashes of bell and cymbal color as well as ostinati on the marimba and outbursts from steel drums. The orchestra lends support mostly, occasionally singing out in an almost chorale-like texture. This piece is absolutely lovely.
The second work on the CD is Twill by Twilight. The work seems almost a carbon copy of Time except that it doesn't include the percussion group. While I find nothing particularly objectionable about the work, it isn't distinct enough to compete with the impression made by the first work. In fact...another choice for the CD might have been in order.
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Format: Audio CD
"From Me Flows What You Call Time" is one of the greatest pieces written in the late 20th century. The funny thing is that its hard to put a finger on why. This is some of the most original music you've ever heard. This literally sounds like nothing else I've ever heard. It is essentially a concerto for percussion quintet and it is fabulous what Takemitsu has done with the idea. Normally, a concerto for five percussionists would be bombastic and thunderous, but this is subtle & understated, but that's where the strength lies. The Pacific Orchestra provides a solid backing for the percussion. The percussion pretty much never ceases, the orchestra provides splashes & washes of color with flutes, occassional horn bursts, and lush strings. Its is shocking just how pretty & beautiful Takemitsu was able to make music with dissonance. The whole piece isn't that way, but sometimes you will hear something that doesn't quite sound right, but its still beautiful. He's the perfector of soft dissonance. I know the comparison has been run into the ground, but there is a lot of Debussy in Takemitsu, although he's more modern and has an obvious slant from the East. His music doesn't sound like Debussy's, you can just see the influence. Believe me, Takemitsu's is truly a unique voice in music.
"Twill by Twilight" (for orchestra) is in memory of Morton Feldman, and I must say I think its better than anything I've heard by Morton Feldman.
"Requiem" (for string orchestra) is also a nice piece, but the real showstopper on this disc is "From Me Flows What You Call Time." Get the disc for that.
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Format: Audio CD
"From Me Flows What You Call Time" is not an ordinary percussion concerto. It is extraordinary. Usually, a percussion concerto is a lively music, full of excitement. But this piece is rather meditational. You must enjoy it in a very quiet mood. Five percussionists of NEXUS, to whom Takemitsu dedicated this piece, makes their own cosmos. When I once listened to this music in a concert hall, played by the Philadelphia Orchestra with NEXUS and Robert Spano, it is trully amazing. It is often said that Takemitsu combined Japanese culture with Western culture. To me as a Japanese, this is not Japanese nor Western, rather a new world created by the genius. "Twill by Twilight" is also a meditational piece as if I were in a space with a different scale of time. "Requiem" is Takemitsu's first orchestral piece, also serious and meditational, but more emotional than the former two pieces. It is very different from famous requiems by Mozart, Cherubini, Brahms, Verdi, Faure, etc.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm a big admirer of Takemitsu, but mostly on account of his film music. While I've enjoyed his classical pieces, I've always appreciated the rawness and experimentation of his film work more. "From Me Flows What You Call Time" is the big exception... it's a truly mesmerizing piece. Like the best Takemitsu music, it can take you into another world. Frankly I don't have words to describe how wonderful this piece is. You just need to listen to it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This Sony disc contains three pieces by the late Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu, whose untimely death in 1996 robbed the contemporary music world of one of its most distinctive figures. The first two were written during his late period, while the last is his first great work. Carl St. Clair conducts the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, with the Nexus percussion group (the dedicatee) on the first piece.

"From me flows what you call Time" (1990) for orchestra and five percussionists stands as one of Takemitsu's sure masterpieces. It might be called a concerto for percussion and orchestra, though that suggests some kind of opposition when in reality all elements of instrumentation seamlessly cooperate. The soloists' parts are very fascinating, especially when they play drums, giving a rougher tinge to the work rarely heard in the music of a composer more interested in glittery sounds. Towards the end the piece follows other works of this period ("Archipelago S.", "Ceremonial") in containing a spatial element: the percussionists play bells distantly located in various parts of the auditorium by means of coloured tape. "Twill by Twilight" (1988) was written in memory of Morton Feldman, and the title is both an allusion to Feldman's love of carpets and to Takemitsu's technique of textures that "weave" in and out of the piece, as well as a building up of the large from repetitions of the small as Feldman (in)famously did in his late pieces.

What is particularly amazing about the late Takemitsu is that he uses certain contemporary techniques, yet achieves a highly original effect different from all other composers. The pitches are generated with quasi-serialist techniques, and yet his music does not sound dry or academic, but rather highly transcendental.
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