There have been a whole lot of recordings recently that have paired interesting combinations of composers. Today’s pair is no exception:
Debussy and Takemitsu for strings:
- String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10
- Préludes – Book 1: No. 8, La fille aux
- Three Film Scores for string orchestra: Music of Training and Rest
- Three Film Scores for string orchestra: Funeral Music (from Black Rain)
- Nostalghia, for violin & string orchestra
Performed by the Scottish Ensemble, Jonathan Morton conducting.
Fusing French and Japanese influences, this new recording features works by Takemitsu and Debussy, two composers who share an instinctive feeling for instrumental color and sensuous textures.
The Scottish Ensemble’s reputation for excellent string arrangements (established with important commissions from the late Rudolph Barshai) continues with Jonathan Morton’s arrangement of Debussy’s String Quartet.
The variety of string techniques and the wide palette of instrumental colors that Debussy employed are all enhanced by the larger string ensemble, particularly in the sumptuously beautiful slow movement.
In addition, the attractively lyrical ‘Girl with the Flaxen Hair’ has been orchestrated for string ensemble and two harps by Colin Matthews.
Takemitsu’s contribution to the string orchestra repertoire includes two contrasting film scores inspired by the French Impressionists.
Finishing the album is Takemitsu’s hauntingly melancholic Nostalghia, with a heartfelt solo violin melody by Jonathan Morton.
The Guardian wrote a few days ago:
“The immediate thing I noticed about this recording, and which I kept noticing all the way through, is how broad, expansive, lush and generally huge the Scottish Ensemble sounds…[it] has always made a thing of playing standing up for a chamber-music kind of nimbleness. But the SE house style is also all about muscular attack.”
Here is the original form of the string quartet by Claude Debussy: