The Orchestra “Davai” where I belong is an amateur orchestra in Tokyo, Japan. This orchestra is very unique, since it mainly play the pieces written by the composers of Russian regions.
Our orchestra will hold the 5th concert as follows:
♪♪♪♪ Orchestra “Davai” the 5th concert ♪♪♪♪
August 28 (Sunday), 2011, Open 13:00, Start 13:30 to about 16:00
at Sumida Triphony Hall, Sumida-ward, Tokyo, Japan. (from “Kinshicho” Station of JR line or Tokyo Metro Hanzomon line by walk (about 5 min.))
Shinji MORISHITA, Conductor.
Isao YAMAMOTO, Marinba.
Tikhon Nikolayevich Khrennikov (Тихон Николаевич Хренников): Symphony No. 3 in A major
Akira Ifukube (Акира Ифукьюб): Lauda concertata for marimba and orchestra
Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (Николай Андреевич Римский-Корсаков) : Sheherazade (Шехерезада)
I will give you free invitation ticket! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details about the ticket.
♪♪ “Khrennikov : Symphony No. 3 in A major”
The Symphonies of Khrennikov may be not widely known. Perhaps, Khrennikov by himself may also be not widely known. He was a composer, pianist. He was born on June 10, 1913. He died on August 14, 2007, aged 94. He was Secretary of the Union of Soviet Composers until the break down of the Soviet Union. He remained the head of Tchaikovsky Competition Committee up to year 2004.
If you like composers of Soviet Union such as Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Khachaturian, Popov, Miaskovsky, Shebalin and so on, you may know the ideological campaigns against “formalists” in music also called as ” Zhdanov Doctrine”, and you may know Khrennikov’s name as a cooperator of this purge. During this time, Khrennikov denounced both Sergey Prokofiev and Dmitry Shostakovich for having a style of composition with a concept of anti-revolutionary and formalist. Khrennikov later stated that this denouncing speech was prepared not by him but by the Kremlin.
On the other hand, there is some evidences that he supported some musicians under the denunciation. For example, Khrennikov provided Prokofiev with money to buy foods. Khfennikov also helped to rebuild Shostakovich’s career by recommending him for a Stalin Prize in 1950 and led an invitation for Igor Stravinsky to visit the Soviet Union in 1962.
As he told the Robinson, Prokofiev’s biographer, “I was a person of my times, and it’s very hard for anyone who did not live here through those times to understand them and the way we lived”, it may be not an easy job to understand him.
Anyway, his music is recognized to be based on “socialism realism”, accordingly, it is very clear and readily understandable. Indeed, his 3rd symphony is also very clear and readily understandable. For almost all people who will come our concert, it will be a first time to listen his 3rd symphony, but it will be readily understood and accepted. Among 3 symphonies he wrote, this symphony is said to be the most sophisticated. This symphony composed of 3 parts including Fugue, Intermezzo and Finale. The Fugue is started with the strike of the sound, and it repeats the theme time after time as shown in the title Fugue. This repetition of the theme make it more clear. The Intermezzo is slow and quiet music. It is very beautiful, lyrical and romantic. This may be the best part of this piece. The Finale is explosive type music and can be divided into three parts, wherein slow part is imposed between two quick and streamy parts. It started with motor-like rhythm of violins. This motor-like rhythm continues insistently and incessantly and it leads to a high degree of tension. The imposed slow part is very beautiful and quiet, it may be a feeling wave of nostalgia. This Finale is finished dynamically and dramatically.
The video of Khrennikov’s 3rd symphony is put below for reference, but this is a rare opportunity to listen live performance of Khrennikov’s symphony, therefore I strongly recomend you to come our concert.
♪♪ “Ifukube: Lauda Concertata for Marimba and Orchestra”
Akira Ifukube was a Japanese composer of classical music and film scores. His best known work may be a soundtracks of the Godzilla movies, among them the theme of Godzilla attached below may be most famous.
When he was 14 old, he listened to Igor Stravinsky’s ballet, The Rite of Spring on the radio, and decided to become a composer. After admission to Hokkaido University, he studied composition using his space time. His first orchestral piece, Japanese Rhapsody won the prize in an international contest promoted by Russian composer, Alexander Tcherepnin. This leads him to break. The next year, Tcherepnin visited Japan, and Ifukube studied modern Western composition from Tcherepnin.
Lauda Concertata for Marimba and Orchestra (hereinafter called “Lauda Concertata”) is written in 1979, and it is a one-movement marimba concerto. Ifukube dedicated this piece to the Japanese marimba virtuoso, Keiko Abe. Ifukube is said to compose this piece being influenced by The Rite of Spring of Stravinsky. The Rite of Spring is based on the Russian religious ceremonies before the edification of Christ.It is very radical and characterized with the innovative complex rhythmic structures, timbres, and use of dissonance.
The video of ballet of the Rite of Spring is shown in the followin site:
Lauda Concertata is also based on the shamanistic rligious ceremonies of the Ainu to cure disease by singing and dancing which Ifukube saw in childhood. Personally, when I heard the Lauda Concertata, I recall the movie “Mononoke princess”, the animation movie by Hayao Miyazaki. Ifukube was strongly influenced by the traditional music of Japanese and Ainu. Ainu is indigenous people of Japan and Russia. In the movie “Mononoke princess”, Ashitaka was set to be from Emishi village, which was fictional, but it must be based on the real Emishi. Emishi is a group of people who lived in Tohoku area, Japan. They are thought as the natives of Japan and they were descendants of those who produced the Jomon culture. They are thought to have been related to the Ainu. I may see this relationship when I feel a strong resemblance between the music of Ifukube and the movie “Mononoke princess”.
Ifukube is said to state in the note premiere performance during as followes:
“The gentle melodic subject of Ode is played by Orchestra, whereas Marimba is treated as percussive and barbarous as is its original form. I tried to evoke the primitive humanity by combining these two elements being different from each other, so to speak through the coexistence of prayer and feast.”
As described therein, the marimbist as shaman plays with moving freely as a praying shaman, and in finale, the marimbist repeats a simple rhythm insistently and becomes in trance state in front of the melody of Ode by brass section. This ecstasy of the sound is very emotional. Please come to the concert and experience this frenzy in live.
♪♪ “Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade”
This piece may be the most famous of the three pieces, therefore I think there is no need to say much. Sheherazade is a symphonic suite composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1888. this is based on The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. One Thousand and One Nights is composed of many Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic. It is sometimse known as The Arabian Nights. The main frame story is as follows: The king, Shahryar who became suspicious womanf discovering the wife’s adultery, begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonour him. Scheherazade, the vizier’s daughter, married the king voluntarily to stop the execution. On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins (and only begins) a new one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion, postpones her execution once again. So it goes on for 1,001 nights. There is many derivative works including the animation movie “Aladdin” by Disney shown below.
Sheherazade consisted of a symphonic suite of four related movements that form a unified theme. It was written to produce a sensation of fantasy narratives from the Orient. According to Rimsky-Korsakov, the unifying thread consisted of the brief introductions to the first, second and fourth movements and the intermezzo in movement three, written for violin solo and delineating Sheherazada herself as telling her wondrous tales to the stern Sultan.