SHUKO MIZUNO (b.1934): Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4.
Catalogue Number: 04I079
Description: Symphonic writing seems to represent the European-romanticism end of the compositional spectrum for Mizuno, who has parallel careers in jazz, world music and various other disciplines. There is nothing here you haven't heard before, but it is repackaged with great skill, and this disc provides a useful short-cut for those occasions when you stare at your collection unable to decide whether the moment is right for Vaughan Williams, Bartók, Sibelius, Sallinen, Stravinsky or perhaps Debussy's La Mer, or some Bernstein; just pick this disc and get them all in quick succession. Although the composer quaintly alludes to hip hop in relation to the hugely attractive and lively finale of the Fourth, it actually has more to do with big-band jazz and swing from decades earlier, and some Penderecki-lite sliding clusters here and there in the Third provide some local color but don't persist long enough to make anyone uncomfortable. It's really very enjoyable and does for the early 20th-century orchestral tradition what the Warsaw Concerto does for the Romantic piano concerto. Tokyo Symphony Orchestra; Kazufumi Yamashita.