Toru Takemitsu: Green (November steps II)
Toru Takemitsu: Marginalia
Toru Takemitsu: I hear the water dreaming for flute & orchestra
György Ligeti: San Francisco Polyphony
György Ligeti: Violin Concerto

A concert showcasing the vibrant music of Ligeti and Takemitsu, two composers that reflected the changes that occurred in society during the second half of the 20th century.

'The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conjured] a fragile world of magic and ritual, in an entirely convincing performance under a tireless Volkov' (the Guardian)

As the 20th century drew to a close, the world saw many traditional divisions broken down thanks to increased globalisation and a capitalist marketplace that knew no boundaries. Composers too adopted a more pluralist approach and started to ignore the rules forged following World War Two.

Scarred by the hyper nationalism of Imperial Japan, Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu originally rejected the traditional music of his homeland following the Second World War. However, from the 1960s onwards, he began reincorporating Japanese instruments and other elements of the country's folk music into his richly orchestrated, gorgeous works. Green (1967), Marginalia (1976) and I Hear the Water Dreaming for solo flute and orchestra (1987) are opulent, sensual masterpieces that recall Debussy, but also the Japanese concept of 'ma' - the 'powerful silence', as Takemitsu defined it, which is set in relief by a single, equally powerful sound.

Ligeti escaped his native Hungary following the Soviet suppression of the Hugarian uprising in 1956 and before that, as a Hungarian Jew, he had suffered the death of his brother and father at the hands of the Nazis. Once in Western Europe he threw himself into the experiments of the musical avant garde. However, by the 1970s he was drawing on influences as broad as the rock-influenced minimalism of American composer Philip Glass and new ideas in mathematics, such as chaos theory. His Violin Concerto (1989 - 93) is a thrilling journey into his late style - a synthesis of avant-garde explorations and traditional melodic conventions using an orchestra that includes swanee whistles and ocarinas.


BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Ilan Volkov conductor
Ilya Gringolts violin
Adam Walker flute