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Andersen's Swan Song

by Masamichi Kinoshita

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    Includes an insert with liner notes by Masamichi Kinoshita (translation by Cathy Fishman).

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I composed this piece in 2011 on a commission for the concert "Sonorous Solitude / Hidehiko Watase Solo Flute Recital," produced by image/air_ (Ippei Hosokoshi). The conditions were that the piece should be as long as possible and written for baritone (Homei Kamie) and flauto traverso (Hidehiko Watase), and that I could use any lyrics I liked. Simply put, the flauto traverso is an ancestor of the contemporary flute. First, Watase-san told me about the instrument's characteristics. I was very interested in its special qualities, which are quite different from those of an ordinary flute, and made a point of incorporating these merits in the composition. In particular, I made extensive use of a playing technique that causes the sound to waver slightly in a ripple-like way. (This is possible with a normal flute, too, but I think that with the traverso it produces a more direct, profound feeling.)

As for the lyrics, just when I was thinking of writing a piece with the ocean as its theme—partly because the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami had happened that year—I came across "Andersen's Swan Song," a serial tanka poem written by a young Kenji Miyazawa. This tanka was based on "Twenty-eighth Evening" in Hans Christian Andersen's "A Picture-book without Pictures." In this short story, written from the moon's point of view, a swan that seems to be tired from its journey glides down to a moonlit ocean at night, floats on the surface, and resumes its flight when the sun comes up. In the music I depicted the scene in a general way through long solo parts on flauto traverso and a song performed by the baritone in between. Another important focus was exploring the power of the actual intertwining of sound and words. I also hoped, in composing this piece, that it would create a space that deviates slightly from everyday life and produce a palpable feeling of a place seldom seen, combining repose and anxiety—just like an ocean where a swan would come down to rest.

Sadly, Homei Kamie, who sang in the premiere of this piece, passed away in 2015. This CD is dedicated to his memory. (Masamichi Kinoshita / translation by Cathy Fishman)

この曲は2011年に、image/air_(細越一平)企画の演奏会「渡瀬英彦 フルート・ソロ・リサイタル "Sonorous Solitude" (鳴り響く孤独)」の委嘱作品として作曲いたしました。条件は「できるだけ長い曲で、バリトン (上江法明) とフラウト・トラヴェルソ (渡瀬英彦) のためのもの、歌詞は自由」でした。フラウト・トラヴェルソは簡単に言ってしまうと今のフルートのご先祖様にあたる楽器です。それでまず渡瀬さんに楽器の特徴について色々教えてもらいました。普通のフルートとはかなり違うその特性にとても関心が湧き、作曲においてはその利点を積極的に活用しました。特に一つの音が細波のように微かに揺れる奏法を多用しています (これは普通のフルートでも可能ですが、トラヴェルソの場合、より素直で深い味わいが出ると思います)。



The second release on the Ftarri sublabel Ftarri Classical, which specializes in composed pieces in the contemporary classical genre, is a work written by Masamichi Kinoshita. Born in 1969 in Ono City, Fukui Prefecture, Kinoshita is a contemporary classical composer currently based in Tokyo. In addition to composing, he performs improvisation using electric devices, and organizes concerts. Kinoshita has performed a number of times at Ftarri (in Tokyo) and previously released two CDs made up of performances held at Ftarri: "Electric Powered Music Concert" (meenna-877), with Kinoshita, Tomoki Tai, Takumi Ikeda and Takuya Harashima; and Masamichi Kinoshita's "Ftarri's Harmonium" (meenna-873).

In 2011, Masamichi Kinoshita composed the piece "Andersen's Swan Song" (for baritone and flauto traverso)—with lyrics based on Kenji Miyazawa's serial tanka poem of the same name—on a commission for a solo recital by flutist Hidehiko Watase. This CD documents a 41-minute performance of this work by Hidehiko Watase on flauto traverso (an ancestor of the contemporary flute) and baritone Homei Kamie, held at a church in Tokyo in December 2012. Sadly, Homei Kamie passed away in 2015. This CD is dedicated to his memory.

現代音楽の作曲作品に特化した Ftarri のサブレーベル Ftarri Classical の第二弾は、木下正道の作曲作品。木下正道は1969年、福井県大野市生まれ、東京在住の現代音楽作曲家。作曲以外にも、電気機器による即興演奏や、コンサート企画もこなし、精力的に活動している。東京、水道橋の Ftarri への出演も続けていて、木下正道 / 多井智紀 / 池田拓実 / 原島拓也『電力音楽演奏会 Electric Powered Music Concert』(meenna-877) と、木下正道『Ftarri のハルモニウム』(meenna-873) という、Ftarri でのライヴ演奏を収録した2枚のCDを既にリリースしている。

2011年、木下正道は、渡瀬英彦のフルート・ソロ・リサイタルの委嘱作品として、「アンデルセン白鳥の歌」(バリトンとフラウト・トラヴェルソのための) を作曲 (歌詞は、宮沢賢治の連作短歌「アンデルセン白鳥の歌」に拠る)。本アルバムには、翌年2012年12月東京の教会における、渡瀬英彦 (フラウト・トラヴェルソ [フルートの前身楽器]) と上江法明 (バリトン) のふたりによる41分の演奏を収録している。なお、上江法明は2015年に他界。このCDは彼の思い出に捧げられた。


released September 12, 2021

Homei Kamie: baritone
Hidehiko Watase: flauto traverso

Composed by Masamichi Kinoshita in 2011 on a commission by image/air (Ippei Hosokoshi)
Premiered at "Sonorous Solitude / Hidehiko Watase Solo Flute Recital," produced by image/air

Recorded by Ippei Hosokoshi at Yodobashi Church, December 1, 2012
Mastered by Hiroyuki Ura
Design by Masamichi Kinoshita

Dedicated to the memory of Homei-san


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