HIKARU HAYASHI (b.1931): Viola Concerto "Elegia", ICHIRO NODAIRA (b.1953): En plein air for Solo Viola, AKIRA NISHIMURA (b.1953): Fantasia on "Song of the Birds" for Solo Viola, TORU TAKEMITSU (1930-1996): A String Around Autumn for Viola and Piano (arr. Toshio Hosokawa [b.1955]), GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL/HOSOKAWA: Lascia ch'io pianga for Viola Solo, J.S. BACH/HOSOKAWA: O Mensch, bewein deine Sünde gross for Viola and Piano.

Catalogue Number: 05K121

Label: Pan Classics

Reference: PC 10195

Format: CD

Price: $19.98

Description: The Takemitsu is an arrangement of Takemitsu's orchestral score, that reduces the complex orchestration of the original to emphasize the singing, melodic quality of the music through the uncluttered, beautifully lyrical solo viola line. Nishimura's Fantasia incorporates material from Casals' improvisatory folk-song-based work, suggesting something of the great cellist's performing style. Hayashi's half-hour, two-movement concerto explores the somber tones of the viola in a work of remembrance and reflection. After a freely chromatic opening the vocabulary settles into something firmly grounded in tonality, with a soulful eloquence and richly textured use of the ensemble. The first movement builds to a late-romantic, central European influenced state of agitation, while the second is a strained and introspective funeral march. Nodaira's 'Out of Doors' was influenced by Bartók's suite of the same title, and sounds like it, both harmonically and rhythmically. A technical tour de force for the viola, it exploits a wide range of techniques, harmonics, double stopping to simulate a wide instrumental palette from one soloist. Nobuko Imai (viola), Roland Pöntinen (piano), Orchestra of the Conservatoire Supérieur and the Académie de Musique Tibor Varga; Gábor Takács-Nagy.

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