Funa-Uta for Band
Commissioned by Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, Kure Band
Premiered on 19 February 1994
Commissioned by the Kure Band of Japan Maritime Self Defense Force.
Funa-Uta, a kind of Barcarole, is based on two folk songs from the Setonaikai (the Inland Sea) area in the western part of Japan. The form is A-B-A. In the A section, a folk song from Kagawa Prefecture Kompira Fune-fune is used, and in the B section, a folk song from Hiroshima Prefecture Ondo no Funa-uta is used. The form is simple, yet the composer writes a ten voice Canon in the A section, and uses polyrhythm in the B section. Japanese atmosphere is abundant, and Ito's skillful orchestration in the Impromptu section played by four wind players stands out.
A contemporary treatment of two Japanese folk songs in a challenging three-part form. Opens in the style of John Adams while the folk material undergoes full development. Beautifully orchestrated to make the ensemble sound rich, as well as clear. A true fusion of Japanese and contemporary Western musical elements and a good way to introduce students and audiences alike to an ancient sound world. Challenging, yet able to capture a respect for both traditions without sounding trite.
Flutes in C 1, 2
Flute in C 3 (Picc.)
Oboes 1, 2
Bassoons 1, 2
Clarinet in Eb
Clarinets in Bb 1,2,3 (3Players)
Bass Clarinet in Bb
Alto Saxophones in Eb 1,2
Tenor Saxophone in Bb
Baritone Saxophone in Eb
Horns in F 1, 2, 3, 4
Trumpets in Bb 1, 2, 3
Trombones 1, 2, 3
Percussion 1 - Cymbals, Bass Drum, Tam-Tam, 3 Toms, Suspended Cymbal, Bin-zasara (a bundle of pieces of wood, Japanese instrument)
Perccusion 2 - Chimes, Glock, S.Bell, Tam-Tam, Hyoushigi, Suspended Cymbal
Perccusion 3 - Vibraphone, Xylophone, Hyoushigi