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 Posted:   May 22, 2023 - 3:43 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

In a few words what is the takemitsu like. And don't say it's great or crap. Is it japanese sounding/ethnic, symphonic, melodic.

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2023 - 3:56 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

In a few words what is the takemitsu like. And don't say it's great or crap. Is it japanese sounding/ethnic, symphonic, melodic.

The Takemitsu album is next to the Rosenman album the most essential of the bunch. It features original recordings by Takemitsu as well as newer recordings of Takemitsu's music conducted by John Adams. The album has a considerable range, some of it is very classical, romantic, melodic, some of it is more introvert atmospheric. It is not particularly "Japanese/ethnic" sounding music, it's very accessible music.

Here are two very different samples of Takemitsu's music, both of which are on the CD:

A "classical" waltz:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGNojPRSsjw&list=PLGimp3o0vKnqbyNaI_HQFIdDAVPk_umFl

And the more introspective suite from Rikyu (which I love for it's mysterious atmosphere):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5S3v2Qrx4I&list=PLGimp3o0vKnqbyNaI_HQFIdDAVPk_umFl&index=2

As you can hear, different types of scores; Takemitsu was a very versatile composer. The Nonesuch album gives a nice selection of suites and tracks that are quite different from each other.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2023 - 4:36 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

Thanks Nicolai, I might throw a few quid his way. The waltz reminds me, a bit, of Schnittke.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2023 - 6:21 AM   
 By:   villagardens553   (Member)

I have enjoyed reading this thread. I have 3 of the 4. I don't have the Takemitsu. Just not familiar with his music, but after years of hearing praise for his music, the positive comments here have moved me to get his Nonesuch disc. Thank you, all!

Somewhat related, but just marginally, as part of a project I've been working on since March of 2020 I've been revisiting as much music as I can from teenage years--early 70s--and so much of that music was on Nonesuch Records, from the dozens of releases on their Explorer Series--koto, gamelan, bouzouki, pipes, etc--to their electronic masterpieces--Silver Apples of the Moon--to their recordings of 20th Century works--George Crumb's Ancient Voices of Children.

I also like the direction the label has taken, not going necessarily in the same direction as in the past but taking an equally adventurous path, often exploring fresh new American music like Rhiannon Giddens, John Adams, and Bill Frisell.

 
 
 Posted:   May 29, 2023 - 2:12 PM   
 By:   1977   (Member)

I was aware of the Rosenman but not the North, And thanks to this thread I plan on picking both up. I listened to a few tracks from the North on Spotify and loved it, particularly the Spartacus cues. It's a pity the series was so short lived.

 
 Posted:   May 31, 2023 - 2:12 PM   
 By:   mistermike   (Member)

The North album, particularly Spartacus, was really garbage…

In rec.music.movies Usenet group, July 12, 1998, Josiah Gluck wrote:

>I would strongly recommend the fairly recent Nonesuch Film Series
>recording "The Film Music Of Alex North." There are six cuts from
>"Spartacus" on it (including the breathtaking 'final farewell.' They
>sound superb and the performances are great. It's way-better than nothing
>at all...

I responded at the time…

Some of the engineering (by John McClure!!!) on this CD is exceptionally poor ... I wonder if there was a major shortage of rehearsal or time to set up the microphone placement properly?

[…]

In the excerpt from The Misfits, the soprano sax solo at the beginning is very weak. The whole cut seems rather inconsequential.

The track from Viva Zapata has the percussion somewhere off in the distance. Too bad Elmer Bernstein's version probably won't be reissued [it was, actually].

There are more balance problems in the Streetcar Named Desire excerpts ... This is a symphonic presentation of the score, not very convincingly done.

SPARTACUS:

[N]either the sound nor the performances are “great.”

[…]

Main Title -- On the Nonesuch CD, there is an extended section for percussion from 0:12-0:36. When I first heard it, I thought this was some outtake, but it's the same as the "original version") ... the balance is so wacky, it sounds totally different. The snare drum sounds like it's in a high school marching band. There are woodwind trills at 1:05 and 1:13 which sound wrong ... either that, or they have been given undue prominence unlike on the ST. From 1:31-1:43 the important tuba part is practically inaudible. Throughout this cut, one has to strain to hear details. The conductor seems to be focusing on making a lot of noise, rather than music.

Forest Meeting -- Where are the brass from 0:05-0:09?? Balance problems abound. At 2:47 there is a false start by what sounds like a bassoon. There is some major screwup by the cellos around 4:31 ... it sounds like they all played the wrong note, then tried again. The cello passage from 4:22 on is mediocre.

Vesuvius Camp -- The balance is muddy. There is too much prominence to the repeated thumps of the bass drum, cymbals and other percussion which go on through much of this track.

Camp at Night -- Probably the best track of all the Spartacus excerpts, though it is rushed.

Draba Fight -- This whole cut is a joke. Details are lost, drowned out by the percussion. The tuba here is too loud, the strings are not prominent enough (0:52) and the melody in the brass at 1:30 is nonexistent.

Finale Farewell -- Mundane. The snare drum sounds like it's across the street.

 
 
 Posted:   May 31, 2023 - 10:47 PM   
 By:   MarkS   (Member)

Until now, I didn't even know that the Delerue existed, but I have the other three. I had been intrigued by Takemitsu's "Woman In The Dunes" after reading about it in Bazelon's book and had wanted to hear the score for years. I finally got to see the movie on the local PBS station and was blown away by both the film and score, so I was very excited to get the Takemitsu volume. After listening to it, I was so taken by the music that I ran out and bought several CDs of his orchestral works. I would later get the two film music volumes of the Complete Takemitsu Edition (I recently bought the other three volumes). Unfortunately, it would seem that music-only tracks for "Woman In The Dunes" don't exist as both the Nonesuch and Complete Edition tracks are taken from the film itself.

For the person who was asking what Takemitsu's music is like, in addition to the "Rikyu" suite linked above, I would also recommend checking out the suite from "Banished Orin" that is on YouTube (can't get the link to work).

Stylistically, Takemitsu's film music is all over the place. There's jazz and pop style scores, avant garde scores, tonal scores, and scores that use traditional Japanese music. He puts his own stamp on all of the styles that he works in. His concert works are all rooted in the avant garde, but from about 1980 on, they are less spiky. There are numerous videos on YouTube of his concert music. Also, if you have a subscription to the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall (and why wouldn't you?) there are wonderful performances of "From me flows what you call Time" and "Requiem" for string orchestra (the piece that first brought him to international attention).

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2023 - 12:27 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

The North album, particularly Spartacus, was really garbage…

In rec.music.movies Usenet group, July 12, 1998, Josiah Gluck wrote:

>I would strongly recommend the fairly recent Nonesuch Film Series
>recording "The Film Music Of Alex North." There are six cuts from
>"Spartacus" on it (including the breathtaking 'final farewell.' They
>sound superb and the performances are great. It's way-better than nothing
>at all...

I responded at the time…

Some of the engineering (by John McClure!!!) on this CD is exceptionally poor ... I wonder if there was a major shortage of rehearsal or time to set up the microphone placement properly?

[…]

In the excerpt from The Misfits, the soprano sax solo at the beginning is very weak. The whole cut seems rather inconsequential.

The track from Viva Zapata has the percussion somewhere off in the distance. Too bad Elmer Bernstein's version probably won't be reissued [it was, actually].

There are more balance problems in the Streetcar Named Desire excerpts ... This is a symphonic presentation of the score, not very convincingly done.

SPARTACUS:

[N]either the sound nor the performances are “great.”

[…]

Main Title -- On the Nonesuch CD, there is an extended section for percussion from 0:12-0:36. When I first heard it, I thought this was some outtake, but it's the same as the "original version") ... the balance is so wacky, it sounds totally different. The snare drum sounds like it's in a high school marching band. There are woodwind trills at 1:05 and 1:13 which sound wrong ... either that, or they have been given undue prominence unlike on the ST. From 1:31-1:43 the important tuba part is practically inaudible. Throughout this cut, one has to strain to hear details. The conductor seems to be focusing on making a lot of noise, rather than music.

Forest Meeting -- Where are the brass from 0:05-0:09?? Balance problems abound. At 2:47 there is a false start by what sounds like a bassoon. There is some major screwup by the cellos around 4:31 ... it sounds like they all played the wrong note, then tried again. The cello passage from 4:22 on is mediocre.

Vesuvius Camp -- The balance is muddy. There is too much prominence to the repeated thumps of the bass drum, cymbals and other percussion which go on through much of this track.

Camp at Night -- Probably the best track of all the Spartacus excerpts, though it is rushed.

Draba Fight -- This whole cut is a joke. Details are lost, drowned out by the percussion. The tuba here is too loud, the strings are not prominent enough (0:52) and the melody in the brass at 1:30 is nonexistent.

Finale Farewell -- Mundane. The snare drum sounds like it's across the street.


Finally, someone who "gets" it - anyone who professes to like the North disc doesn't know much about North.

 
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