Sunday, 7 October 2007

Toru Takemitsu - A Flock Descends Into the Pentagonal Garden

1. Spirit Garden
2. Solitude Sonore
3. Three Film Scores for String Orchestra: I. Music of Training and Rest (from José Torres)
4. Three Film Scores for String Orchestra: II. Funeral Music (from Black Rain)
5. Three Film Scores for String Orchestra: III. Waltz (from Face of Another)
6. Dreamtime
7. A Flock Descends Into the Pentagonal Garden

"As a man he was a polymath who loved cinema, had an encyclopaedic knowledge of Western pop music and wrote a detective novel. Takemitsu was fond of using the metaphor of walking around a Japanese formal garden for the process of listening to his works: 'I love gardens', he said, 'they do not reject people. There one can walk freely, pause to view the entire garden, or gaze at a single tree, plant, rock and sand snow: changes, constant changes.' Thus the wisps of melodies, chords and instrumental textures may be likened to the carefully placed plants, trees, stones and rocks of the garden, which can be viewed from different positions, in close-up or from a distance, in ever-changing vistas and perspectives. Takemitsu described Spirit Garden (1994) as 'my experiment with and on-going inquiry into orchestral colour and melody'."

"The metaphor of both dreams and gardens as applicable to Takemitsu's music is particularly relevant to A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden (1977) [...] He explained that it arose from a dream, which may have been connected to a photograph he had seen earlier in the day of the artist Marcel Duchamp, who had cut his hair in the 'form of a star-shaped garden'. Takemitsu described the work as a 'shifting panorama of scenes in which the main motif - introduced by the oboe and representing the so-called "Flock" - descends into the harmonious tone-field called the 'Pentagonal Garden', created mainly on the strings'. These two elements are freely interwoven in a series of a dozen or so paragraphs of varying length within a single movement. The musical material is based on the image of the five sides of the pentangle; there are a set of five five-note scales, each one of which can only have five transpositions. Within the work are silences, passages of randomness, great swells of dissonance, and delicate fragmentary melodies, the quintessential characteristics of one of the supreme composers of colour and texture of the twentieth century."

(excerpts taken from booklet / this review)


Anonymous said...



vaubu said...

Oh this is great, I am on a Toru Takemitsu kick and I did not know that you had posted so much of his wonderful music! Cheers!