The Solo Guitar Music of Toru Takemitsu

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Almost ten years after the death of the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996), it is becoming increasingly clear that his music for solo guitar, including Folios (1974), All in Twilight (1987), A Piece for Guitar for the 60th Birthday of Sylvano Bussotti (1991), Equinox (1993) and In the Woods (1995), is one of the most important bodies of work created for the instrument in the last century. This is evidenced by the fact that, in addition to the great names such as Bream, Williams, Barrueco and Tanenbaum, we now see a younger generation of players such as Dieci, Gallèn, Halasz and Goni performing and recording these works. In this paper I will argue that the quality of this body of work results from the consistency of the musical language employed by Takemitsu in all of the pieces, a sophisticated language that was not compromised in any way by the fact that he was writing for an instrument with considerable technical limitations when compared to the huge orchestras for which he composed much of his oeuvre. In the course of the presentation I will highlight the main features of Takemitsu’s musical language in some of his most important orchestral, chamber and piano works and trace how these features are used in the composition of the solo guitar pieces.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Number of pages0
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 8 Jul 2005
EventDarwin International Guitar Festival - Darwin, Australia
Duration: 8 Jul 2005 → …


ConferenceDarwin International Guitar Festival
Period8/07/05 → …


  • Takemitsu


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