Hisato Ohzawa, one of the foremost Japanese composers of the first half of the twentieth century, studied in the 1930s in Boston and Paris. This second Naxos disc of his music features two works premièred by the composer in Paris. As with many of his other works written in the 1930s, Piano Concerto No. 2 combines elements of jazz, impressionism and Japanese-style melodies. Scored for a large orchestra including triple winds, celesta and a variety of percussion, the Symphony No. 2 has the character of a Concerto for Orchestra. The highly original second movement is made up of four independent parts: two arias and two toccatas, played alternately, with each part requiring a soloist or soloists.
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