JS Bach - Goldberg Variations; Takemitsu - Rain Tree Sketch II
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Cat No: QTZ2130
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 1st June 2018
ArtistsReiko Fujisawa (piano)
The thirty variations are generally divided into three groups: dance, canon and arabesque. Every third variation in the set is a canon that increases by its intervallic answer, beginning at the unison until Variation 27 which is a canon at the ninth. This final canon is particularly impressive as Bach leaves out the bass line, leaving a ‘pure’ canon between the upper voices. Such a feat is in itself a contrapuntal exercise in genius; more so as these variations are not heavy with cerebral skill, but instead, dance with sparkling lightness.
Toru Takemitsu composed his Rain Tree Sketch II in 1992, in memory of Olivier Messiaen, the French composer who was a strong influence on Takemitsu. The title of the work was probably inspired by a quotation from a novel by Kenzaburo Oe, Atama no ii, Ame no Ki: “it was named the ‘rain tree’, for its abundant foliage continued to let fall rain drops from the previous night’s shower until the following midday. Its hundreds of thousands of tiny, finger-like leaves store up moisture, whereas other trees dry out at once.” The work is a dreamy meditation on the flow of life, and was Takemitsu’s last piano piece.
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