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Inoue, Satoko: Presents Jo Kondo's New Works For Piano (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

The second album of piano works from Japanese composer Jo Kondo performed by pianist Satoko Inoue--a noted interpreter of solo works by Feldman, Ferrari, and Cage--here presenting all of Kondo's works for solo piano written from 2001 to 2012, alongside two early works from 1975, exploring a wealth of harmonic, rhythmic, and conceptual ideas from a diversity of projects.

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Jo Kondo-composer

Satoko Inoue-piano

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UPC: 752156101123

Label: ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd
Catalog ID: ezz-thetics 1011
Squidco Product Code: 28281

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Grosser Sendesaal at WDR, in Frankfurt Germany, on December 25th to 29th, 2012, by Christoph Gronarz.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"This CD, the second album of my piano works played by Satoko Inoue, presents all the works for solo piano written from 2001 to 2012, alongside two early works from 1975. Although I cannot help but recognize some apparent differences between my early and recent works particularly in texture and sonority, I am convinced that my basic idea and methodology of composition has remained unchanged since the 1970's.

"Gamut" (2012) was written expressly for Satoko Inoue on the occasion of this recording. This miniature piece is a piano arrangement (or 'intavolatura') of the fourth and last song in the song cycle I wrote in 2006, "Four Short Poems" of Louis Zukofsky for mezzo-soprano and four instruments (flute, viola, electric guitar and percussion). The text of the original song, Zukofsky's 'Gamut', is in itself a fascinating sound play of words full of musical charm, typical of this American poet.

"Ritornello" (2005) is, as the title suggests, characterized by the recurrence of the same (or almost the same) phrases. Its relatively thick texture, and structure consisting of juxtapositions of short sections of sharply contrasting musical character, are common features in my 'recent' music (not just in my piano pieces but my works in general).

"In Nomine (Berceuse à la Lesniewski)" (2006) was written, as my response to Ensemble Recherche's request to contribute to their 'In Nomine Project' which sought to revivify the old English tradition of writing virtuoso instrumental music based on the plain chant melody, Gloria tibi Trinitas. My 'In nomine' turned out to be a quiet, anti-virtuoso berceuse, whose harmonic texture derives from chordal colorings of every note in the cantus firms. The subtitle refers to the Polish logician Stanislaw Lesniewski, who initiated 'mereology', a theory about relationships between the whole and the parts. I believe that any musical structure (or, any 'piece' of music) that I create could be taken as a good exemplification of his theory.

"Metaphonesis" (2001) is, in the same way as the other pieces recorded on this CD, a composition based on a single melodic line, even if it sounds more 'harmonic' rather than monodic. The title of this work is a neologism, made from Greek, to express 'making a sound a sound about the sound', and at the same time the obscurity of its very meaning (or, putting it in a more positive way, an obscurity that allows room for interpretative manoeuvre). However, looking back and trying to recall what I intended to mean by the word some forty years ago, I only find everything dimmed by the grey mist of time. In any event, the determining reason for my choosing the word 'metaphonesis' as the title of this piano piece is that I found the sound of this word beautiful.

"Trochaic Thought" (2009), a short rhythmic study, rhapsodic in nature. The basic rhythmic material of the work derives, as the title suggests, from trochee, a metrical pattern in classical rhetoric, i.e., a note of longer value is followed by a shorter one.

"Sight Rhythmics" (1975) is included again on this CD, although it was recorded previously on the first album of my piano works. I decided to include it again as it creates a useful context for the next work on this CD, "The Shape Follow's Its Shadow", and the two pieces together give the listener a clearer idea of my early style, which contrasts in some aspects to my recent music. "Sight Rhythmics" was originally written for five instruments: violin, steel drum, banjo, electric piano and tuba. The work consists of six short movements that sound very much alike. These movements seem almost identical, but careful listening will soon reveal their differences. I call this device pseudo-repetition, and it could be placed somewhere between literal repetition and variation. Literal repetition is in itself static, heading nowhere. Pseudo-repetition is almost as static as literal repetition, but at the same time becomes a vehicle for hidden change and motion. Perhaps the best term to describe this fluid situation, contradictory though they may seem, are the words 'dynamic stasis'. We could liken the listener's experience of dynamic stasis to the way we experience our everyday life. Each day seems very similar to the previous one (daily routine), but today is never exactly the same as yesterday.

"The Shape Follows Its Shadow" (1975/2012) recorded here as a solo piano version of the work that I wrote for two pianos in 1975. The entire piece is nothing but a continuous single melody, or melody-like line, in an extremely slow tempo, so slow that each sound almost stands still. After each short attack of a thicker chord, some note (or notes) in the chord remain(s) unstopped and keep(s) sounding thinly as if it were a residue or shadow of the chord. It is this shadow sound that shapes the static, abstract melody-like line

"Tennyson Songbook" (2011) is another piano arrangement of vocal music. This time, the original work is "Three Songs Tennyson Sung for soprano and seven instruments" (2010), a song cycle set to the poems in Alfred Load Tennyson's "The Princess". The piano version consists of four short movements: Introduction, I.(Lullaby), II., and III.(Idyll), each corresponding respectively to the piece in the original song cycle: Avant-propos, I. 'Sweet and low' (Lullaby), II. 'Ask me no more', and III. 'The splendour falls' (Idyll)."-Jo Kondo, April 2019

Artist Biographies

"Jo Kondo, Composer

Born in Tokyo in 1947, Jo Kondo graduated from the composition department of Tokyo University of Arts in 1972. He spent a year studying in New York on a scholarship from the John D. Rockefeller III Fund in 1977-78. In 1979, he taught as guest lecturer at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, invited by the Canada Council, and in 1986 resided in London as a British Council Senior Fellow. In 1987, he was a composer in residence at Harrt School of Music, Hartford, Connecticut, USA and in 1987 and 2000 he taught at Dartington International Summer School in England. He was a professor at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo and Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima for many years. At present, he is a professor at Showa University of Music, Kawasaki, Japan and professor emeritus at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo. In 1980 Kondo founded the Musica Practica Ensemble, a chamber orchestra devoted to contemporary music, and was the artistic director of the group until its disbandment in 1991.

He has written more than 160 compositions, ranging from solo pieces to orchestral and electronic works, which have been widely performed in Japan, North America, and Europe. These were recorded on Hat Art, Wergo, ALM, Fontec, Deutsche Grammophon, and other labels.

He has received commissions from numerous organizations, ensembles and musicians. His music has been featured at many international music festivals such as the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Performers associated with his music include the conductor Paul Zukofsky, Oliver Knussen, the pianist Satoko Inoue, the Ives and Nieuw Ensembles in the Netherlands, the London Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group in the UK, and many others.

Kondo has written extensively on musical matters and since 1979 he has published many books explaining in detail his own aesthetic and compositional ideas. He is also an associate editor of the Contemporary Music Review.

He was on the jury of the Gaudeamus International Composer's competition, the Music Competition of Japan, and the Akutagawa Award for young Japanese composers, the Kyoto Prize and so on.

He received the Odaka Prize (the best Japanese orchestra work in the year for his orchestra piece "In the Woods" in 1991, and the Nakajima Kenzo Prize for his achievements in the Japanese contemporary music in 2005. Jo Kondo was elected as an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2012. In 2018, Jo Kondo was awarded "the 68th Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's Art Encouragement Prize". The Chairman of Japan Society for Contemporary Music (The International Society for Contemporary Music - Japanese Section."

-Jo Kondo Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Satoko Inoue (井上 郷子 Inoue Satoko, January 29, 1958- ) is a Japanese musician.

Inoue is a concert pianist whose performance repertoire is mainly contemporary music. Inoue is also Associate Professor at the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo.

Inoue was born in Kobe, Japan. She entered the composition department of Tokyo Gakugei University, and graduated in 1981. She matriculated from the graduate department of the same university, where she studied composition and electronic music. Her masters' thesis was The composition study of John Cage's early piano pieces.

She was the last student under Shesshu Kai, the late composer who had a big impact on her and she also studied piano under Atsuko Okada, a professor at the Tokyo College of Music.

She played new pieces by young composers of her same generation at the concerts when she was a Graduate School student, then appeared at the concerts of the Japan Society for Contemporary Music and the Japan Federation of Composers.

In 1986, Inoue became Pianist for the Musica Practica Ensemble organized by composer Jo Kondo. In 1991, she started her annual concert, Satoko Plays Japan, in Tokyo. She played 64 pieces composed by 28 composers including Jo Kondo, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Yori-aki Matsudaira and others she commissioned until 10th concert in 2000.

From 2001, she included pieces by foreign countries' composers. She played 82 pieces in the series of concerts from 2001 to 2012 except in 2004 when she was too ill to play. She has commissioned 18 pieces by 12 composers, including Jo Kondo, Yuji Ito, Takashi Fujii, Haruyuki Suzuki, Doina Rotaru and others.

The special programs of these concerts were Jo Kondo' works (1996, 1999 and 2011), Mieko Shiomi's works (2000) and [For Luc Ferrari ] concert title in 2007, Morton Feldman's works (2010) and Jon Cage's works in his second period (2012).

In 2011, she had her two recitals " Satoko Plays Japan - the locus of 20 years - " entitled in which "collect commissioned works" and "Jo Kondo's works 1990-2011"as the 20th recital commemoration.

Besides these concerts, she gives her recitals with themes at Kawai Music Shop Aoyama (Kawai Omote-sando) a few times a year.

She gave solo recitals of works of Henry Cowell, Giacinto Scelsi, John Cage and others with very themes, had duet concerts with violinist Shiho Tejima and clarinetist Guido Arbonelli.

In 1995-1999, Satoko organized her concerts with composer Yuji Ito at the Rene Kodaira, and played at that concerts total of 12 times.

In 1999-2005, she gave recitals sponsored by the Japan Foundation

In 2006, she had a solo recital with works by contemporary Japanese and American composers in New York City, and obtained high evaluation by "New York Concert Review /Winter2007" .

From 2008, organizing and performance at the concerts series entitled "music documents" at Mon-naka tenjoh Hall in Tokyo, 3 times per year.

In 2010, she was awarded "Keizo Saji Prize" by The Suntory Foundation for Arts with "Satoko Inoue Piano Recital #19 Morton Feldman-Works for Piano".

1983 - Bourges International Festival of Experimental Music

1992 - Darmstadt Summer Contemporary Music Seminar

1993 - 5th Akiyoshidai International Contemporary Music Seminar & Festival

1999 - Performances at the department Muenster of the conservatory of music Detmold in Germany and Lille the Third University in France under the Nomura Cultural Foundation.

2001 - ISCM World Music Days 2001 in Yokohama-JSCM New Century Music Festival

2006 - 2nd ISCM-Romanian Section International Festival

2010 - The 9th Mersin International Music Festival in Turkey

2011 - Festival "l'Art pour l'Aar" in Switzerland)

In 2006 Solo recitals at the Turkish-Japanese Foundation Culture Center in Ankara under Turkey Embassy of Japan and Minar Sinan Guzel Sanatlar Universitesi Devlet Konservatuvari Oditorium in Istanbul.

In 2011, the solo recital in Bern sponsored by Japanese Embassy in Switzerland, and performed at the musica aperta in Switzerland. Premiered the work of Akemi Naito (music) + Kristine Marx (imagery) at the Sarah Lawrence College in New York.

Released solo performance CDs from HatHut,Switzerland and Edition Hundertmark, Germany.

She has a lot of contemporary music repertoires including Jo Kondo, Toru Takemitsu, Yoritune Matsudaira, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Luciano Berio, Luc Ferrari and others."

-Wikipedia (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Gamut 1:05

2. Ritornello 7:59

3. In Nomine (Berceuse a la Lesniewski) 3:29

4. Metaphonesis 9:50

5. Trochaic Thought 5:46

6. Sight Rhythmics 12:52

7. The Shape Follows Its Shadow 10:30

8. Tennyson Songbook (Four Parts) 12:32

Related Categories of Interest:

Hat Art
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Saxophone & Drummer / Percussionist Duos
Duo Recordings
Hat Hut Masters Sale

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