Feb. 13th, 2017

drplacebo: (Neuro notes)
It's not Friday, but I did say I'd repost my past Forgotten Masterpiece Friday posts from Facebook, and Monday seems like a good time for it seeing as a bunch of other people post music on Mondays. So I'm starting from the beginning, with my first FMF post, appearing on Facebook on December 9, 2016.

Kunihiko Hashimoto (1904-1949) was probably Japan's leading composer in the 1930s and 1940s. His reputation has perhaps suffered because he spent much of the Second World War composing and conducting for Imperial Japanese propaganda films. However, he appears to have been apolitical and likely a reluctant nationalist, reverting to a conservative tonal idiom after previously studying under Egon Wellesz and Arnold Schoenberg and both composing and enthusiastically promoting serial, atonal, and microtonal music. (He eventually went on to compose music for a concert commemorating the adoption of Japan's postwar constitution in 1947.) Despite the severe restrictions placed on his artistic vision by the government that commissioned many of his works, he showed some real invention in fusing Japanese themes with the Western symphonic idiom -- "keeping the powers-that-be happy without selling himself out," as one reviewer noted. He has sometimes been described as a Japanese Kodály for his efforts to record and re-purpose folk songs.

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