JapanPhil 696th Tokyo Subscription Concerts


Saturday, December 9, 2017 - 14:00 Doors Open - 13:00

Suntory Hall

Saturday only! Pre-concert talk "Today's Highlights"
Every time, we introduce highlights of the concert, program details and more before the concert starts.

13:00 Doors open for pre-concert talk
13:10 Talk starts (*Please listen from seat rows 1 through 14 on the ground floor)
13:25 Talk ends
13:30 General door opening time
14:00 Concert starts

Maurice RAVEL: “Ma mère l’oye” Suite
HACHIMURA Yoshio: The logic of Distraction op.12*
Hector BERLIOZ: Symphonie Fantastique op.14

Conductor: INOUE Michiyoshi
Piano: WATANABE Yasuo*


Concert Program
“Japan Philharmonic Orchestra: the 696th Tokyo Subscription Concert – Autumn Season”
(Suntory Hall, Tokyo)
Ravel: Suite “Ma mère l'oye”
Yoshio Hachimura: The Logic of Distraction, Op.12 (Yasuo Watanabe, piano)
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14

I just woke up now! After the concert of the second day, I went to bed as soon as I got home. I slept a lot! Usually I see dreams.
I performed Berlioz’s “Symphonie fantastique” and, what is more, I dreamed…… what is happening……?
Mr. Takei from the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival (formerly the Saito Kinen Festival) came to see me after the concert, saying “You are worthy of conducting world-class orchestras like Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. People throughout the world should know there exists such outstanding conductor like you!”
I replied to him as a joke, “All right, then please give phone calls as soon as possible and invite them to Japan. I’m not likely to last long!”…… However, I truly have little desire for this kind of success. I think the reason is the fact that my early experiences (in my twenties and thirties) appeased my hunger.
I have to admit that, during today’s concert with the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, there were certainly some moments when I said in my mind, “They should be more active as for the poetry, power and timbre. I can’t express anything more than this!!” But nevertheless, I was not “dissatisfied” with them.
Oh, yes, regarding the first movement of the “Symphonie fantastique”, I tried to respect symbolically the repeat marked on the score, that I had ignored so far. This was to avoid giving the same interpretation as forty years ago (when I made my debut with this piece leading the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, the first professional orchestra I had ever conducted). The second repeat was in a heavily decadent style.
My secret plan which is the use of double mutes for “Ma mère l'oye” produced a wonderful effect. The result of our scrupulous, attentive rehearsals was also excellent. That was the very performance which could be presented everywhere in the world. I heard there a sort of twisted utopia of the genius Maurice Ravel.
“The Logic of Distraction” expresses the distraction in a perfectly logical way, if I try to explain it like a French person. Our performance revived vividly, as if in a “dream”, the figure of Yoshio Hachimura (this composer was also a teacher) as a surprisingly ragged teacher like a homeless person at the time he taught at the Toho Gakuen School of Music!
I mailed three times to Cardiff to ask about the first page to my friend Tadaaki Otaka who premiered this piece, because I didn’t understand clearly the intention of the composer.
Yes, this reminds me of Yoko Kida, a genius for score reading who used to help “our” conducting practices. She is the very pianist who premiered this exceptional work. Ha-ha-ha! That happened fifty years ago!!
After the concert, the daughter of the late Hanako Watanabe (who was my mother’s classmate whom she admired) and the family members of the late Akeo Watanabe came in flocks to the backstage. Many old memories came and went in my mind's eye.
Mr. Yoshiro Mori, former Prime Minister of Japan, also came to see me with his pleasant wife and grandchild, saying he especially loves “Symphonie fantastique” among the classical repertoire.
In this field, I often happen to hear the expressions “world-class something” or “something of the world” as if awarding a medal…… But I have lived since long time ago with a strong uncomfortable feeling about this kind of barometer for evaluation.
Hidden lies told by world-class people, stifling life with a disturbing suit of armor named “fame”, childish efforts to take up room of the extremely narrow summit like climbing to the top of Mt. Matterhorn……
Such momentary “world-class something” is in the end the same as a castle above the clouds we dream of everyday in the bed.
Even world-famous works considered “master pieces” exist in this world only when they are performed……
Carlos Kleiber stopped conducting around seventy years old. Hideo Saito and Akeo Watanabe passed away about that age.
I myself don’t feel at all like life is short and is about to be over in the blink of an eye.
My colorful life was full of many incidents, extremely interesting experiences and a little bit of effort. And I flatter myself that, surrounded by sweet, tasteful people, I have lived a well-balanced life compared to the universe. I’m blowing my own horn!!
Yeah, I’m ashamed of myself to say that, because it’s similar to everyone’s act of “posting” what they ate that day on social media with their “smartphone”……
But I’m quite old now, I’ll blow my own horn without hesitation!


ショスタコーヴィチの魂が疾走する! 井上道義の才気が炸裂する! これぞショスタコーヴィチの真髄!


1冊でわかるポケット教養シリーズ 指揮者の世界