Asia, Claude Debussy, Edgar Allan Poe, Gustave Dore, Japan, Japanese Noh drama, LA International New Music Festival, Laura Mercado-Wright, REDCAT at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Toru Takemitsu, Toshio Hosokawa
Sometimes ideas are obvious, a favorite theme of mine. On first glance the idea of a Japanese composer setting the iconic poem The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe seemed to approach hubris. Really, a Japanese composer taking on one of the most famous American poems? But I was curious about Toshio Hosokawa, an important Japanese composer I’d been hearing about from friends Kent Nagano, Momo Kodama and Ichiro and Tami Nodaira, and asked for a perusal score from his publisher, Yuki Yokota at Schott Japan.
Fortunately Hosokawa’s score appeared in a timely way in my mailbox from Tokyo a few months ago. I started reading the piece and rereading the poem. I got hooked, very hooked, in a matter of hours, and started to grasp the obvious. And I heard the voice of my good friend Laura Mercado-Wright after the first few bars.