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Work

Toru Takemitsu

Toru Takemitsu Composer

In the Woods, 3 pieces for guitar   

Performances: 4
Tracks: 10
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Musicology:
  • In the Woods, 3 pieces for guitar
    Year: 1995
    Genre: Solo Chamber
    Pr. Instrument: Guitar
    • 1.Wainscot Pond
    • 2.Rosedale
    • 3.Muir Woods
This group of works for guitar based on images of nature is in Takemitsu's more traditional tonal and melodic style, shaded by Impressionist harmonies. Each of the three works in this set, lasting slightly under 11 minutes in total, is dedicated to a guitar virtuoso—the first movement, "Wainscot Pond—after a painting by Cornelia Foss," is dedicated to John Williams; "Rosedale" is dedicated to Kiyoshi Shomura; and "Muir Woods" is for Julian Bream.

"Wainscot Pond" opens with a lovely, flowing and surprisingly modal melody in triple meter. The only consession to Takemitsu's more complex style are the beautiful series of whole-tone and Impressionist chords that bridge the melody at two points. "Rosedale" likewise has many Impressionist harmonies moving in parallel with slight harmonic touches at cadence points. It is plaintive and reflective in mood with a quasi-improvised feel. "Muir Woods" opens with eerie harmonics encouraging the listener to imagine a deep forest with touches of light shining through (the warm major chords at the cadences). The four-note harmonic motif comes to resemble a birdcall. There are Impressionist harmonies wandering about in the middle sections, and an onrushing series of arpeggios. Another four-event motif alternating full chords with single notes gives the feeling of a mountain song.

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