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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars String Around Autumn, 17 Oct 2011
Mr. A. R. Boyes "Alan Boyes" (Newcastle, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Takemitsu: String Around Autumn (A) / I Hear the Water Dreaming / A Way a Lone II (Audio CD)
These four works, products of Takemitsu's later years, have much in common. Indeed the common theme is water. That might not be apparent from the titles but "String Around Autumn" paints a Japanese garden with water; "I hear the Water Dreaming" tells its own tale, "A Walk a Lone II" is linked to "Riverrun" with its reference to James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake.

The four works are broadly very similar with lush orchestration, richly perfumed Debussian harmonies and expanded tonality. In short; these are the features in much of his later work. "A Walk a Lone II" is an orchestration for string orchestra of a string quartet movement. This work does sound more contrapuntal and austere than the rest.

"A String Around Autumn" includes a viola solo but this is not a concertante work. This is a very lush orchestral work with subtle formal underlay whereby the "String" effectively is a harmonic chain that forms of cycle in that the closing passages ruturn to the opening theme. "I Hear the Water Dreaming" for solo flute and orchestra continues this lush and contemplative theme. The final work, "Riverrun" surprises initially because the piano solo does sound more concertante and extravert.

In all four works slow tempos dominate and the lush, dreamlike orchestration bares a similarity to the later works of Valentin Silvestrov, albeit with more French and Buddhist connections.

Excellent sound engineering is pretty well guaranteed with BIS and it's a bonus to have Sharon Bezaly as a solo flautist. Philip Dukes also excels in "A String Around Autumn". Overall this is a most beautiful programme with the four works subtly balancing each other. A Highly recommended disc.
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