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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » M » Matsudaira, Yoritsune

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Yoritsune Matsudaira (5/05/1907 - 10/25/2001)

On his father's side a descendant of the Tokugawa Shogun family, who ruled over Japan from the 17th to the 19th century, and on his mother's from the Fujiwara family, who were the most powerful Japanese court nobility from the 7th to the 12th century, Yoritsune Matsudaira became one of the greatest Japanese composers of the 20th century, by developing a distinctive style of his own, based on Gagaku, Japanese court music from a tradition of over a thousand years, in which various musical elements from ancient Japan, China and Korea are brought together. His work Theme and Variations combines Gagaku with the neo-classical methods of Ravel, Poulenc and Tansman, while his later works, including Sacred Dances, seek to integrate Gagaku with the total serialism of Stockhausen and Boulez. His music, a synthesis of the ancient Orient and the modern Occident, won the respect of Messiaen and Takemitsu, and has been performed in Europe by many distinguished musicians, including Karajan, Rosbaud, Boulez, Maderna, Gielen, Loriod and Gazzelloni.



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