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From Me Flows What You Call Time / Twill by Twilight
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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.Read more ›
"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.
"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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sent immediately. Perfect condition. One couldn't ask for more.Published 16 months ago by Gary B. Rodgers
Got this because I had some of his other music. While this is fabulous stuff, not the best thing to go to sleep by as it's a bit too dissonant for that. Read morePublished on July 25, 2013 by H. Ellsworth
Takemitsu: Orchestral Works The Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Carl St. Clair Nexus is a stunning aural set of pieces that remind me of the soundtracks to the Tom & Jerry cartoons of... Read morePublished on January 28, 2013 by K. Hersee
This is a very satisfying recording from the Pacific Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Carl St. Clair. Read morePublished on March 4, 2011 by Grady Harp
Most of the earlier reviews of "From me flows what you call time" are accurate--beautiful orchestrations, unexpected moments that emerge from silences or clusters of sound, and... Read morePublished on March 22, 2006 by William Sisson
This music is very beautiful , relaxing, and gets your attention at all times if you really listen to it. I can imagine the "sound" of time in the night sky.Published on January 25, 2000
I recently heard the WV Symphony Orchestra play this piece. I have heard a great deal of excellent live music but this was the first time I had to remind myself to breathe. Read morePublished on November 21, 1999 by Amy H. Carte