KÓSÇAK YAMADA (1886-1965): Nagauta Symphony “Tsurukame”, Sinfonia “Inno Meiji”, Choreographic Symphony “Maria Magdalena”.
Catalogue Number: 09J003
Description: The second Yamada disc in this series brings us a Straussian tone-poem from 1918 originally meant to be a ballet based on Maeterlinck’s Marie-Magdalene. This is the most European of the three works here, rich in dynamics and timbres with affinities also to Wagner. Inno Meiji (1921) is another symphonic poem whose two opposing themes, representing Japanese and Western civilization, conflict and harmonize; the influence of Strauss is somewhat leavened by the employment of much percussion, Asian instruments and the hichiriki, an ancient Japanese double-reed instrument. Most “exotic” and non-Western is the Nagauta Symphony of 1934 which takes an intact 1857 Japanese vocal work (five vocalists perform it) supported by shamisens, Japanese flutes and percussion, and uses it in counterpoint with music for symphony orchestra of entirely Western character. Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra; Takuo Yuasa.