Sunday, October 21, 2018

Kosaku Yamada - Symphony in F "Triumph and Peace"

Image via ウィキペディアへようこそ
On this day in 1600, the battle of Sekigahara ended centuries of Japanese feudal war as Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated the last of his rivals to become Shogun.  250 years of peace followed, unusual for the Japanese islands.

254 years later, Commodore Perry sailed into Tokyo bay.  The isolated Japanese shogunate swiftly reorganized in the Meiji Restoration, and Japan modernized at a remarkable rate.  Industry, transportation, the military - all shed their old traditional ways and embraced the latest western technique.  Society also adapted in the same way.  The traditional music of the high society made room for the music of Mozart, Bach, and especially Beethoven.  Japanese musicians studied in the west, returning with the latest musical fashion.

One of these was Kosaku Yamada.  He studied in Berlin where his name became a source of amusement to the germans (the german transliteration of his name was "what cow", and so he sometimes went by the Czech equivalent "Kôsçak").  But he learned his skill well, and introduced a great deal of western music to Japan: Debussy's Afternoon of a faun, Sibelius' FinlandiaDvořák's New World Symphony, and Wagner's Siegfried.

He also composed 1600 pieces, many of them german style lieder.  But he composed longer pieces like operas and symphonies.  This one seems entirely appropriate for Sekigahara and the triumph and peace it brought.


LSP said...

Beautiful, and new to me. Thx.

libertyman said...

Late for class, I know.

Long day today, Maine to NH then NH to Rhode Island coast and back to NH.

Anyway, a totally new guy to me, and interesting how he performed for the emperor in 1940. Amazing the influence western music has had on the world.

Jahn said...

Can't help but wonder why it is you don't capitalize "German(ic)"?