This Japanese composer was largely self-taught. His music
comprises a large body of concert pieces and a great many scores
for Japanese films. Influences include Webern, Stravinsky,
Gershwin and jazz, as well as traditional Japanese and Asian
Takemitsu's music is kaleidoscopic, dreamy, sensuous but also fibrous, tantalising, delicate and fascinating.
The Rain Tree Sketch II was composed in 1992 in memory of
Oliver Messiaen. The name 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
The work is a dreamy, moody meditation on the flow of life, built on half a dozen well chosen notes.
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