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Finally comes one of Takemitsu's most frequently played works, A flock descends into the pentagonal garden. This was prompted by a dream, and so the dream and garden threads are pulled together (this disc is more artfully planned than it first appears). While there is less emphasis on solo melodic lines than in, say, Spirit Garden, and more on shifting blocks of sonority, the same finely-tuned sensibility is at work [listen -- track 7, 5:10-6:51].

Marin Alsop and her Bournemouth players treat this music with meticulous care for detail, shaping the solo lines with finesse and subtlety, while Naxos' rich, spacious recording allows us to savour every last fleck and glint of these exquisitely worked scores. Thoroughly recommendable, especially to anyone exploring Takemitsu's work for the first time, which I would very much encourage them to do.

Copyright © 8 October 2007 Mike Wheeler, Derby UK

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Takemitsu: A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden

8.557760 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 62'37" 2006 IVY Corporation and Naxos Rights International Ltd

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Marin Alsop, conductor

Toru Takmitsu (1930-1996): Spirit Garden (1994); Solitude Sonore (1958); Three Film Scores for String Orchestra (1994/5) : Music of Training and Rest (from José Torres); Funeral Music (from Black Rain); Waltz (from Face of Another); Dreamtime (1981); A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden (1977)

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Classical Music Programme Notes for concerts and recordings, by Malcolm Miller