London Sinfonietta

The Film Music of Toru Takemitsu

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A spectacular assembly of Takemitsu's finest work for film (selected by him personally before his untimely death). Takemitsu was able to work in a wide variety of styles -- pop arrangements, electronic music, modern choral melodies, his own unique avant-garde and poetic orchestral writing -- and always produced notable and well-crafted composition; possibly the fact that he was largely self-taught enabled him to bypass many of the inhibitions of composers who are members of "schools." This collection of film scores demonstrates almost all of these styles: music from director Hiroshi Teshigahara's "Rikyu" (including traditional songs, European Baroque era music, massive and dramatic sustained sounds), a suite for strings of music for three films -- Teshigahara's "José Torres" (with jazz underscoring shots of boxing rings and gyms in New York City), Teshigahara's "The Face of Another" (with isolated soundforms and Kurt Weill-like tunes), and Shohei Imamura's "Black Rain" (elegiac funeral music underscoring images of the Hiroshima bombing), music from "Harakiri" for biwa, music from Masahiro Shinoda's "Banished Orin," "Kaseki (The Fossil)," Nagisa Oshima's remarkable "Empire of Passion," music from "Dodes'kaden, and the astonishing and highly emotional score for Teshigahara's "Woman in the Dunes" in which Takemitsu electronically processed instrumental sounds to create wholly new timbres.

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