The changing of the seasons is represented in the last piece on the recording, Minoru Miki’s Hanayagi (The Greening). According to the composer, his music “sings in praise of the brilliant life-power of the seasons as they slowly shift from spring to early summer.” The Japanese screen above, from the Edo period (1615–1868), is meant to be read from right to left, as the flowers transition from spring to summer blossoms, a technique frequently employed in Japanese screen paintings to depict multiple seasons in a single narrative image.
Flowers and a Brook. Japan, Edo period (1615–1868). Six-panel screen; color over gold on paper. Gift of Charles Lang Freer, F1897.27-28
Three centuries of music for Japanese koto are performed by virtuoso Reiko Kimura in this concert, recorded at the Freer Gallery on January 15, 1998. Compositions range from the exquisitely delicate to the rambunctiously adventuresome, and feature both the traditional thirteen-string koto and the contemporary twenty-string koto. This concert was presented in cooperation with Music From Japan, Inc. (New York) as part of the Music From Japan Festival 1998. Four years earlier, Kimura joined the New York Philharmonic Orchestra as guest koto player for the premiere of Minoru Miki’s Symphony of Two Worlds at Lincoln Center.
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