QUNIHICO HASHIMOTO (1904-1949): Symphony No. 2, Scherzo con sentimento, 3 Wasan for Baritone and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 08O008
Description: As we noted almost nine years ago when the first Hashimoto symphony disc came out (10F004), "he produced music in Impressionistic, Romantic, Nationalistic and avant-garde styles, as well as many popular songs, jazz songs, music for radio commercials and films". Those works were pre-World War II and 1940: his first symphony was for the 2600th anniversary of the coronation of Japan's first emperor. His second (1947) was commissioned to celebrate Japan's new post-war constitution. How to connect this with 33 minutes of free-flowing Romantic melody which partakes unequally of French Impressionism, English "pastoralism" and Hollwood movie music is up to you, but it's a gorgeous wallow in large-scale, brilliantly orchestrated music whose climax is punctuated by tubular bells. You'll find attempts to combine Japanese music with Western music in both of the other works: the 16-minute Scherzo from 1928 and the three Wasan - Buddhist texts - each lasting around five minutes. English translations of song texts. Akiya Fukushima (baritone), Tokyo Geidai Philharmonia; Takao Yuasa.