KOMEI ABE (1911-2006): Symphony No. 1, Sinfonietta, Divertimento for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 01J012
Description: Abe's main composition teacher was the German composer/conductor Klaus Pringsheim under whose tutelage the composer changed his plans from being a cellist to composing. Apparently, Richard Strauss, Mahler and Wagner were the main influences in his early works but by the time the works recorded here were written (1957, 1951 and 1964 in the order listed above), one hears mostly the effects of the Soviet music which flooded Japan after World War II. The hammering ostinatos and generous use of low brass in the hectic fast movements of the symphony and Sinfonietta will call to mind Prokofiev and Shostakovich. The saxophone Divertimento is much more mellow, not exactly Francophone in its style but aware of the Gallic tradition of writing for the instrument. Alexei Volkov (sax), Russian Philharmonic Orchestra; Dmitry Yablonsky.