"Nonesuch's selections provide an excellent sampling of Takemitsu's score from different stages of his career, and John Adams' interpretation of JOSE TORRES, BLACK RAIN and FACE OF ANOTHER is extremely well done. It should be pointed out, however, the selections are skewed toward those films which have received ample distribution in the US and those directed by Teshigahara Hiroshi and Kobayashi Masaki. Victor Records in Japan has released 6 volume collections of Takemitsu's score, as noted by another reviewer. (As far as I know they are still in print and can be ordered through special soundtrack music dealers such as Footlight Records or Soundtrack Album Retailers) and this is how the present CD stacks up against Nonesuch's selections:Vol. 1 Films Directed by Kobayashi Masaki. KWAIDAN, HARAKIRI (Only a short excerpt found in Nonesuch version), GLOWING AUTUMN, KARAMI AI, YOUTH OF JAPAN, THE FOSSIL (Included in Nonesuch version)Vol. 2 Films Directed by Shinoda Masahiro. PETRIFIED FOREST, SILENCE, BEAUTY AND SORROW, ASSASSINATION, THE APOCRYPHAL LEGEND OF SARUTOBI SASUKE, HANARE GOZE ORIN, AKANE GUMO Vol. 3 Films Directed by Oshima Nagisa and Hani Susumu. EMPIRE OF PASSION (Excerpted in Nonesuch version), THE UNKNOWN STORY OF POST-WAR TOKYO, MY SISTER IN SUMMER, THE RITUAL, BAD BOY, FULFILLING LIFEVol. 4 Films Directed by Teshigahara Hiroshi. FACE OF ANOTHER, (The instrumental version of the waltz in Nonesuch version: in this CD the waltz is sung in German) SUMMER SOLDIER, PITFALL, WHITE MORNING, WOMAN IN THE DUNES (About 2/3 of the selection here included in Nonesuch version), JOSE TORRES (Re-recorded in Nonesuch version), BURNT MAP, RIKYU (Nearly identical to Nonesuch version)Vol. 5 Films Directed by Kurosawa Akira, Imamura Shohei, Toyoda Shiro, Naruse Mikio, Narushima Toichiro. DODESKADEN (Excerpted in Nonesuch version), THE DIARY OF BLUE MIRAGE, THE GHOST OF YOTSUYA, MIDARE GUMO, BLACK RAIN (Re-recorded in Nonesuch version) Vol. 6 Films Directed by Ichikawa Kon, Nakamura Noboru, Onchi Hideo. KYO, ALONE IN THE PACIFIC, ANCIENT CAPITAL, 21-YEAR-OLD FATHER, KINOKAWA, ADMIRATION, A WOMAN'S BODY, A FABULOUS FEMME FATALE, HAPPINESS.As you can see, Shinoda's and Ichikawa's films, for instance, are not represented at all in the present CD. It should be admitted, however, even the monumental Victor 6-volume collection does not come close to presenting complete film socres of Takemitsu. Popular works like RAN, widely available in other venues notwithstanding, such major scores of Takemitsu as DOUBLE SUICIDE (Shinoda) and SAMURAI REBELLION (Kobayashi) are not included in this 6 volume collection, to name only two examples.Kudos to Nonesuch records for a great homage to the cinematic output of one of the most innovative composers of twentieth century, but there are still mounds and mounds of sonic treasures from the late Toru Takemitsu out there for film music and avant-garde music fans."
Very atmospheric pieces
firstname.lastname@example.org | Seattle, WA | 06/28/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"From the liner notes, I understood that Takemitsu's work is voluminous--here is only a sampling of it. Whether you like Japanese films or not, you can appreciate this music. Highly atmospheric and keyed into our dreams, Takemitsu's music will transport you outside your apartment or cubicle into the realm of humanity. I like the Waltz from "Face of Another" (Tanin no kao), Kaseki (The Fossil) and Dodes'kaden for their beauty and originality. The other pieces on the CD are powerful, but frightening. Even if you haven't seen "Empire of Passion" or "Woman in the Dunes", you can sense the eerie backgrounds to this music.I listened to this CD repeatedly for 2 weeks, put it away, and put it back on once or twice a week. It can be both meditative and stimulating."
Tip of the amazing ice berg
leo | Beijing, China | 09/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this collection of excerpts is by no means any kind of substitute for the 6 CD series which is now out of print, and is not even a well rounded representation. In addition to the other reviewer's observations, this "best of" seems to favor the more "difficult" and challenging pieces - while much of the content of the complete 6 volumes is lush, sensual, and breath-takingly gorgeous. David Toop will have to fight me for any of the volumes on that desert island (and he will lose).
but I seem to remember reading that an exhaustive box set series of film works is being released, with a total of something like 30 discs planned - after all, the man did make 92 film scores - but I haven't seen it anywhere or heard of this since - am I on drugs???"
Astral Traveler | Englewood, CO | 02/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A must-have for Takemitsu and film music fans. This CD provides a wonderful sampling of the diversity of Takemitsu's style. I've seen many of the films which are sampled, and the CD makes me want to see more. Takemitsu's music brought an element to all the films he worked on that's at least as important, if not more, as the acting, writing, cinematography, editing, directing... you name it. He's probably the finest film composer ever."
email@example.com | Los Angeles, CA | 04/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After I saw the documentary about his life I had to own the essence. Toru was an incredible spirit and voice in film scoring. Often he depicted what the actual outcome of the movie was, not to mention created piece by piece the soul of each scene. Buy it and become lost!"