AKIRA NISHIMURA (b.1953): Violin Concerto No. 2 "Mani" (Miyo Umezu [violin], Tokyo Symphony Orchestra; Michiyoshi Inoue), Harp Concerto "Born on the Wind"[Ayako Shinozaki [harp], Izumi Sinfonietta Osaka; Tetsuji Honna), East Asian Fantasy (Slovak State Philharmonic Kosice; Tsugio Maeda), Fanfare for Orchestra (Württemburg Philharmonic Reutlingen; Norichika Iimori).
Catalogue Number: 01J087
Description: These recent works - all composed this century - continue to display Nishimura's diverse and eclectic æsthetic and his colorful use of Western orchestral resources in continent-spanning displays of compositional virtuosity. Thus the violin concerto's glittering, highly active solo part, suggesting an updating of the traditional virtuosic soloist's role (including an extended cadenza), is presented against a backdrop of block clusters, microtonal chordal glissandi and other effects of the 1960s European avant-garde; the composer's energetic, heterophonic textures intermittently give way to melodic inspiration of the highest quality. Nishimura's preoccupation with light, color and transfiguration is especially apparent in the harp concerto, in which the modal solo material is again enfolded within heterophonic and complex textures in the highly original orchestral accompaniment. The Fantasy has an imposing, ritualistic element, evoking ancient ceremonies of the East rather than emulating specific styles of traditional music, while the lively fanfare (for full orchestra) stands somewhat apart as the most conventionally western-sounding - and by far the most tonal - piece here (it could almost be by a rather good Soviet-realist composer!).