Album review: Toshio Hosokawa, Silent Flowers: String Quartets (Wergo)


As on 2011's Landscapes, topography and natural history are integral to Toshio Hosakawa's work. Performed by the Arditti Quartet, "Landscape 1" offers a harsh, rock-strewn vista, while the more recent "Silent Flowers", "Floral Fairy" and "Blossoming" reflect his interest in ikebana, the Japanese art of flower-arranging.

The latter fades in as a single glistening tone, representing a still pond, gradually broadening as the water is disturbed by a lotus flower opening in the sun. It's dreamlike, pastoral and secretive.

Elsewhere, the sonic brush-strokes, stabbing pizzicato and oozing cello in "Kalligraphie" bear out Hosakawa's belief that, "Music is calligraphy, using sounds painted on the canvas of silence".

Download: Blossoming; Floral Fairy; Silent Flowers; Kalligraphie