Toru Takemitsu: Quotation of Dream and other orchestral works


Toru Takemitsu, who died in 1996, was undoubtedly the most important composer to emerge from Japan in recent years. His music reflects an approach to composition that sought to achieve a balance between traditional Japanese music and Western culture. The influences upon it were correspondingly varied, ranging, as they did, from Josephine Baker to the American cinema, from Aaron Copland to Claude Debussy, from César Franck to Olivier Messiaen and Anton Webern, and from Japanese gagaku to musique concrète. It was John Cage who taught Takemitsu that sound and silence could only ever approximate to a cosmic ideal. In many of his works, notably the later pieces for orchestra and smaller ensemble recorded here, enigmatic floods of sound pour forth, holding listeners in thrall and carrying them along on a journey between dreams and real life. Quotation of Dream, which dates from 1991 and which has never previously been released on CD, is a suitably eloquent summation of Takemitsu's neo-impressionistic world of sound. Oliver Knussen conducts the London Sinfonietta, with the pianists Paul Crossley and Peter Serkin as the soloists in Quotation of Dream.