Toru Takemitsu - His unwavering brilliance and breadth of expression have yet to be fully appreciated.

Television Scores Of Toru Takemitsu – 1974 – Past Daily Nights At The Round Table

Toru Takemitsu – His unwavering brilliance and breadth of expression have yet to be fully appreciated.

Toru Takemitsu – Legacy Of The Future (Documentary Produced by NHK Television) – 1974 – NHK Records

To the 20th Century Avant-Garde, Toru Takemitsu was one of the great innovators and leading lights in modern Asian music. To Film buffs, Toru Takemitsu collaborated with some of the greatest Directors in Asian Cinema, most notably his work for Akira Kurosawa and the film music of Toru Takemitsu is legendary.

But in addition, and looking at what is a staggering catalog of work, Toru Takemitsu put his stamp on just about every medium available during his lifetime (a very short 65 years, with his passing in 1996) – had he lived longer, he would no doubt be a major influence in music for gaming – but that’s another story.

His film work alone spans some 90 feature films – that’s not counting many times more than that in scores for stage, radio and Television.

And then we had his serious work – which in itself runs in the hundreds of compositions – everything from choral and chamber works to orchestral pieces; all with Takemitsu’s unique vision – that mixture and blend of Asian forms with Western – creating this ever-changing series of eloquent musical statements and other-worldly soundscapes.

The work of Toru Takemitsu isn’t nearly as well known here in the States as it is in Europe and Asia – he has had a wide influence on many forms of music and most certainly his film work stands as a testament to his unique and powerful vision.

I haven’t seen the Documentary this score was commissioned for – it came out on vinyl in Japan in 1974 and whether this soundtrack, which was initially available via NHK, has been reissued or has even been released outside Japan is unclear.

But what is clear is that the Music of Toru Takemitsu is engaging, enveloping and nourishing.

Listen to all of it, if you can. It’s not that long and it will leave an impression.

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