Three French composers, and a Japanese one for whom French music was a significant inspiration. Tōru Takemitsu, filmmaker Kurosawa’s favourite composer, wrote film music as visionary and powerful as his concert music.
Ravel’s homage to his Baroque predecessor seems ageless, but its cool façade conceals quiet sadness. So too does Poulenc’s marvellous Sinfonietta, witty music shot through with wistful shards.
Rather less complexity in Saint-Saëns’ concerto, which is all about a pianist giving us a display of utterly astonishing virtuosity. Sparkling Swiss pianist Louis Schwizgebel obliges, with Takemitsu’s compatriot Nodoka Okisawa conducting the Auckland Philharmonia in repertoire she has made her own.