AKIRA NISHIMURA (b.1953): Somakusha for Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 03M090
Description: Somakusha is Nishimura's homage to the tradition of Japanese classical dance, bugaku. The work is based on a traditional storytelling dance sequence, and its six movements follow the form of the bugaku work. Apart from a fondness for whole-tone scales, melismatic flute solo melodies with ritualistic percussion accompaniment, and ethereal harp figuration, Nishimura characteristically avoids imitative orientalism in his orchestral works, with shimmering post-impressionistic textures predominating and modally inflected harmony and orchestral textures that recall Hovhaness as much as anybody (this is probably coincidental), while colorful dissonances in non-functional chromatic progressions hint at Messiaen (which may not be). Being based on a dance work, some sections have a distinctly dance-like feel, while others in clustered, heterophonic textures serve an evocative, scene-setting purpose. Century Orchestra Osaka; Ryusuke Numajiri.