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Teizo Matsumura
Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2
To the Night of Gethsemane

Ireland RTE National Symphony/Takuo Yuasa

Naxos 8.570337

A contemporary of Takemitsu new to me, Teizo Matsumura (1929-2007), whose compositions combined Western and Asian influences, was also a respected poet, essayist and teacher. He emerges here as a composer of real stature.

Five years in bed during his twenties, convalescing from tuberculosis, apparently concentrated his thinking. His music seems always to grow from single roots to form unified structures, requiring a little patience from the listener; most of the movements here are slow, but build to great power. Matsumura completely rejects "the Western dialectic method with two or more contrasting themes".

These are three impressive orchestral works covering the period 1965-2005. The second symphony has a prominent solo piano part, not showy in Western concerto terms.

Excellent, sonerous recorded performances from Ireland. Another Naxos discovery to be enjoyed.

Peter Grahame Woolf