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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Toshio Hosokawa, "Landscapes," for Chamber Orchestra and Sho

The Munich Chamber Orchestra under Alexander Liebreich and Mayumi Miyata on the Japanese mouth organ, the sho, tackle four compelling Toshio Hosokawa compositions spanning the last two decades on Landscapes (ECM New Series B0016073-02). "Cloud and Light" (2008), "Sakura fur Otto Tomek" (2008) "Ceremonial Dance" (2000), and "Landscape V" (1993), are given lingeringly detailed interpretations.

Hosokawa's music combines the long sounds of Japanese ancient ceremonial Gagaku music and other traditional forms with the modern sound-coloristic, soundscape approaches that are an important aspect of contemporary concert music. It all works convincingly and movingly on Landscapes. Based on this program Hosokowa stands alongside Takemitsu, Mayuzumi and Ishii as an important modern Japanese composer who works with tradition in innovative ways.

It is music to contemplate, linger over, revel in. It is a very excellent example of the vital compatibility of tradition and modernism in the contemporary music world. Hosokawa shows us as he puts forward this series of tone-essays that, under the masterfully sensitive baton of Alexander Liebreich, his music is one of the most convincing new developments in modern concert music in this decade. By all means give it a listen!

1 comment:

  1. By tradition in this sort of contemporary context I do mean tradition radically transformed--that's what makes all the difference, at least to my ears. Hosokawa is a transformer!