Toru Takemitsu

Distance de Fée, for violin & piano

    Description by "Blue" Gene Tyranny

    Steady impressionist chords in parallel voicings on the piano, and a beautifully singing violin melody introduce the composition "Distance de fée" created in 1951, one of the best pieces of Takemitsu's early period. The spirit of Debussy and Messiaen are fully felt in this work of approximately 7 and 1/2 minutes duration. Messiaen's octatonic scale is used in the tonal language. The opening lyrical theme is repeated several times, and finds a new pathway upon each return - this is a version of variation as well as rondo form, two of Takemitsu's favorite compositional procedures. This piece, like many others by Takemitsu, was inspired by poetry, in this case, a poem of the same title by Shuzo Takiguchi (1903-1979). This work describes, with lightly mythological imagery, an elusive, transparent creature living in "air's labyrinth ... it lives in the spring breeze That barely resembled the balance of a small bird" (trans. Noriko Ohtake).

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2014 Equilibrium EQ 120
    2012 ECM / ECM New Series / Universal Music Group ECM 2238
    2011 ECM / ECM New Series 4764428
    2003 Avie AV0024
    2001 ASV CDDCA 1120
    1999 BIS 920
    1999 Naxos 554401