Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Toru Takemitsu - Complete Takemitsu Edition 2: Instrumental and Choral Works (11 Disks)

I just found out that 5 days ago was the late Toru Takemitsu's 79th birthday, so here's a belated dedication and celebration post. I bring you quite a large collection of instrumental and choral works by the visionary man Wikipedia documents as Japan's first international composer:
In the late 1950s chance brought Takemitsu international attention: his Requiem for string orchestra (1957 Takemitsu requiem.ogg listen ) was heard by Igor Stravinsky in 1958 during his visit to Japan. (The NHK had organised opportunities for Stravinsky to listen to some of the latest Japanese music; when Takemitsu's work was put on by mistake, Stravinsky insisted on hearing it to the end.) At a press conference later, Stravinsky expressed his admiration for the work, praising its "sincerity" and "passionate" writing.[14] Stravinsky subsequently invited Takemitsu to lunch; and for Takemitsu this was an "unforgettable" experience.[15] After Stravinsky returned to the U.S., Takemitsu soon received a commission for a new work from the Koussevitsky Foundation which, he assumed, had come as a suggestion from Stravinsky to Aaron Copland.[15] For this he composed Dorian Horizon, (1966), which was premièred by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Copland.
Takemitsu later became a close personal friend of John Cage, who encouraged him to embrace his nation's musical traditions for the first time, leading to a new stylistic period combining ancient Japanese and Western avant garde ideas. At the same time, Toru was also highly conscious of Western popular music, as evidenced by his many guitar transcriptions of Beatles and jazz songs.

This collection is actually the second installment of an even larger group of recordings of Takemitsu's music, called the Complete Takemitsu Edition. From what I can tell, Edition 1 consists of his orchestral works, Editions 3 and 4 cover his film works, and Edition 5 is made up of popular songs, tape, and theatre works. Supposedly the entire collection goes for around an absurd $1,000. Here's what we have on Edition 2, the instrumental and choral works:

Disk 1
1.Romance
2-3. Lento in Due Movimenti
4. Distance de Fee
5-7. Pause Ininterrompue
8-10. Le Son Calligraphie I, II, III
11. Masque
12. Landscape
13. Piano Distance
Download

Disk 2
1. Ring for flute, terz guitar and lute
2. Corona for one or more pianists
3. Sacrifice for alto flute, lute and vibraphone with antique cymbals
4. Sonant for 2 flutes, violin, violoncello, guitar and 2 bandoneons
5. Hika for violin and piano
6. Eclipse for biwa and shakuhachi
7. Cross Talk for 2 bandoneons and tape music
Download

Disk 3
1. Stanza I
2. Valeria
3. Seasons
4. Munari by Munari
5. Voice
6. Eucalypts II
7. Stanza II
Download

Disk 4
1. Distance for oboe with or without sho
2. For Away for piano
3. Voyage for biwa
4. Garden Rain for brass ensemble
5-7. Folios for guitar
Download

Disk 5
1. Bryce
2. Waves
3. Quatrain 2
4. Waterways
5. Les yeux clos
6. Les yeux clos II
Download

Disk 6
1. A Way a Lone for string quartet
2-4. Toward the Sea for alto flute and guitar
5. Rain Tree for 3 percussion players
6. Rain Spell for flute, clarinet, harp, piano and vibraphone
7. Rain Tree Sketch I for piano
8. Rain Tree Sketch II, In Memoriam Olivier Messiaen for piano
Download

Disk 7
1. Cross Hatch for marimba and vibraphone
2. Rocking Mirror Daybreak I, Autumn for violin duo
3. Rocking Mirror Daybreak II, Passing Bird for violin duo
4. Rocking Mirror Daybreak III, In The Shadows for violin duo
5. Rocking Mirror Daybreak IV, Rocking Mirror for violin duo
6. From far beyond the Chrysanthemums and November Fog for violin and piano
7. Orion for violoncello and piano
8. Entre-temps for oboe and string quartet
9. Rain Dreaming for cembalo
Download

Disk 8
1. Signals from Heaven I, Day Signal
2. Signals from Heaven II, Night Signal
3. All in Twilight I for guitar
4. All in Twilight II for guitar
5. All in Twilight III for guitar
6. All in Twilight IV for guitar
7. Toward the Sea III Part I for alto flute and harp
8. Toward the Sea III Part II for alto flute and harp
9. Toward the Sea III Part III for alto flute and harp
10 Itinerant, In Memory Of Isamu Nogutchi for flute
11. Litany I, In Memory Of Michael Vyner for piano
12. Litany II, In Memory Of Michael Vyner for piano
13. A piece for guitar For The 60th Birthday of Sylvano Bussotti
14. And then I knew 'twas the Wind for flute, viola and harp
Download

Disk 9
1. Equinox
2. Between Tides
3. Paths
4. A Bird came down the Walk
5. In the Woods I
6. In the Woods II
7. In the Woods III
8. Air
Download

Disk 10
1. Bad Boy for 2 or 3 guitars
2-3. Piano Pieces for Children
4. A Boy Name Hiroshima for 2 guitars
5. Le Fils des Etoiles for flute and harp
6-17. 12 songs for guitar
18. The Last Waltz for guitar
19. Golden Slumbers for piano
20. Herbstlied for clarinet and string quartet
Download

Disk 11
1. Wind Horse I
2. Wind Horse II
3. Wind Horse III
4. Wind Horse IV
5. Wind Horse V
6. Grass
7. Handmade Proverbs I
8. Handmade Proverbs II
9. Handmade Proverbs III
10. Handmade Proverbs IV
11-22. Songs for mixed chorus
Download

There are too many excellent pieces here to really name highlights, but I'm particularly fond of the Piano Pieces for Children, Toward the Sea for alto flute and harp, the guitar songs, and the astoundingly gorgeous songs for mixed chorus, which to me almost sound like otherworldly slave spirituals.

Complete Takemitsu Edition website (Japanese)

26 comments:

the world of next tuesday said...

wonderful.

though maybe discs 2, 3 and 11 have a CRC error on a track

Abelian said...

Which tracks? I'm not familiar with that error.

the world of next tuesday said...

2-02 Corona
3-05 Voice
11-21 song of circles and triangles

CRC means the decompression failed due to a data error.

Abelian said...

That's unfortunate. Anybody else having this problem?

Corona: http://www.mediafire.com/?adrczyv3ly4
Voice: http://www.mediafire.com/?dkmqzwnj0ym
Song of Circles and Triangles: http://www.mediafire.com/?o2yzwje2mdu

Song of Circles and Triangles is so nice.

alepla said...

Yes I´ve had exactly the same error also

the world of next tuesday said...

Thanks!

Brise said...

i thank for this a thousand times, again and again.

what an incredible amount of beautiful music. since finding this, i've haven't been able to listen to nothing else.

any chance of getting the other volumes?

Abelian said...

You're welcome! It really is beautiful music. I recommend Burt's authoritative "The Music of Toru Takemitsu"; the composer led a fascinating life.

I'd love to hear the other editions myself, but I can't spare the $ and can't find them anywhere online.

Jessica said...

Wow, this is such an incredible upload. I've been meaning to compile all the pieces from Takemitsu's Waterscape cycle, and this has certainly alleviated my task a great deal. Needless to say, he's one of my favourite composers, and this edition offers a lot of works that I haven't yet had the chance to hear.

Thank you, and a save new year!

6tropfensarin said...

first of all thanks a lot! really beautiful!

but.. on the first cd some songs do not work:

4. Distance de Fee
5-7. Pause Ininterrompue
8-10. Le Son Calligraphie I, II, III
11. Masque
12. Landscape

so.. only the two first and the last were decompressed.. dont know why.

Abelian said...

Damn, these decompression errors are frustrating. I'll look into it when I get back to my computer with all the Takemitsu tunes, in a couple days.

Jessica, you're welcome - that period of his works is probably my favorite, though I haven't heard them all either.

5:4 said...

Hi, thanks for such an inspired post!

i've downloaded them all, & thought i'd confirm that the only decompression problems are the ones listed by The World of Next Tuesday (2-02, 3-05 & 11-21) - the problems described by 6tropfensarin must be a corrupt download, it's not the file that's at fault. Mediafire downloads do sometimes go wrong - when i first downloaded vol. 8 it didn't get all the data, but downloading a second time was fine.

Thanks again - fantastic post :)

PS. i noticed one of the name tags accidentally had "flac" on the end of it - does this suggest you have all this music in FLAC format? If so, perhaps you could consider uploading that too?

Abelian said...

Thanks for the feedback 5:4. The flac tag must be an artifact from whoever originally uploaded these, all I've got are MP3s.

Ragnar said...

Um ... maybe I am missing something but I'm being prompted for the password - serached a bit and tried a few of the obvious ones without success ... anybody able to rescue me from Takemistu-less-ness?

Abelian said...

There's no password. That's a weird problem.

Ragnar said...

Thanks Abelian - your comment lead me to dig deeper and it seems to be a quirk in Linux Archive Manager using the rar program when you choose Extract Here from the right mouse click sub-menu. Instead of telling me there was a CRC error in the file, it asked for a password. Turns out it was the known issue in Works 2, 3, and 11 and a download error in Works 1, and 6. When I hit the same prompt for WOrks 1, 2, and 3 I thought I had missed the password info! Thanks for your response and love the music - back in the bad old days, one of the first LPs I ever bought was the piano music played by Roger Woodward on Decca - recently rereleased on CD. Thanks for the music!

Abelian said...

Very cool story about the vinyl, I've just started getting into collecting them myself, and making digital rips. I'd pay a lot for an original pressing of November Steps in good condition.

Glad you figured out the Linux thing, I know next to nothing about that system.

Jack Celliers said...

One thousand thanks, Toru Takemitsu's work is really interesting and besides it has a historical interest since he is alledgedly one of the first Asian electronic composers.

I downloaded up to 4, but unfortunately 1, 2 aqnd 3 have problems, guess mediafire is a little bit clumsy, not the first time it happens. I will try again.

Cheers!

Abelian said...

He was indeed one of the first Asian electronic composers. Have you heard this early tape work, "Sky, Horse and Death"? Composed in 1954 for radio play, according to Mutant Sounds.

Sky, Horse and Death: http://www.mediafire.com/?lz2izwmwnzk

Mutant Sounds post on Takemitsu: http://mutant-sounds.blogspot.com/2007/04/toru-takemitsu-eclipse-masque-cross.html

Hope your downloading issues worked out Jack.

Kenny said...

Were any of the decompression issues ever solved? Still looking for Corona and Song of Circles and Triangles...

Kenny said...

Were any of the decompression issues ever solved? Still looking for Corona and Song of Circles and Triangles...

Has anyone come across any of the other installments?

Abelian said...

See my second comment in this string for links to Corona and Song of Circles and Triangles.

Réprobo said...

Disk 6
Disk 6
1. A Way a Lone for string quartet
2-4. Toward the Sea for alto flute and guitar
5. Rain Tree for 3 percussion players
6. Rain Spell for flute, clarinet, harp, piano and vibraphone
7. Rain Tree Sketch I for piano
8. Rain Tree Sketch II, In Memoriam Olivier Messiaen for piano is offline on MF host.
Please could reapload the 6th rar file of this masterpiece.
Thanks for your kindness
Cheers

Alejandro Jordán said...

Gracias!! Danke !! Thanks!!

Abelian said...

It makes me so, so happy that this post is by far the most popular one on Giraffe Kingdom.

Abelian said...

It makes me so, so happy that this post is by far the most popular one on Giraffe Kingdom.