Hashimoto: Symphony No. 2 (Three Wasan/ Scherzo) (Naxos: 8.572869) (Akiya Fukushima/ Tokyo Geidai Philharmonia/ Takuo Yuasa)
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Qunihico Hashimoto was one of the leading Japanese composers in the first half of the twentieth century. His synthesis of Japanese and European musical forms was founded on two years of study and travel in the West. Symphony No. 2
was commissioned to celebrate Japan's new postwar Constitution, but combines jubilation with an introspective nostalgia. Three Wasan
sets Buddhist texts which describe the beauty of 'pure land' or heaven, merging traditional chant with bel canto
expressiveness. Innovative for its time, the early Scherzo con sentiment melds Japanese music with Western neo-classicism. Hashimoto's Symphony No. 1
can be heard on 8.555881.