Toru Takemitsu

Orchestral Works III: Autumn (1973)/A Way A Lone II (1981)/I Hear The W

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Performed by various soloists with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ryusuke Numajiri. Recorded both in analog and digital versions in the Japanese double-CD release. "Twill by Twilight" is a harmonically and timbrally lush work, which often evokes the tone painting breadth of Debussy and the crystalline delicacy of Webern, an outpouring of "pastel coloring...reminders of the transient nature of twilight, before the coming night and after the sunset" (Takemitsu). It is dedicated to "the memory of my dear friend Morton Feldman." Takemitsu described the work's sub-structure as developed "through strictly measured musical units, through what might be called musical principles before a melody is constituted or before a rhythm is formed." This is a very apt metaphor applicable to Morton Feldman's own compositional style. The small and broad cyclicism of the rhythm patterns in Takemitsu's work is however much more hidden -- a kind of phased, elastic, non-clockwork repetition with imaginative variations. The brilliant orchestration contains many unique details, some of which are difficult to hear in a recording but greatly enrich the concert hall's acostic space. New instrumental combinations abound -- for example, harps in unison with French horns, or a surprising, delicately interruptive chord constituted of antique cymbal, bass drum, piano in its extreme ranges, viola harmonics and double bass. The emotional texture breaths with large sonorities, is pleasantly awakened by unusual and unexpected timbres, and is confirmed in a human warmness and quiet confidence (especially by the concluding chordal sequence).