Oraison et Jeux
- sous un rai lumineux -
pour hautbois et piano
Oboe and Piano (Score and Part)
The title, which means “Prayer and Play- under a bright shine" in French, was given by a friend of the composer as a French translation of the Japanese title. The piece was originally composed for solo-oboe and piano in 2003 for Tomoyuki Hirota, the principal oboist in the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, to perform. It was re-arranged for solo-oboe and orchestra in 2004 and for solo-oboe and symphonic band in 2006.
The composer wrote this note about the music:
"I feel this dazzling light surrounding myself, coming from nowhere.
While being swathed in the warmth of the light, I shall accept grace of mother nature, such as magnificence and beauty of itself to make them stay in my heart.
And I feel delight to spend each day of my life with gratitude likewise.
As my prayer, I shall be playful to feel it."
The structure of the piece is a traditional ternary form with three parts and a coda. The first part, "Lento", is based on the improvised motives which evoke one's own prayer. In the next part "Allegro", the composer depicts feelings of playfulness using technical and rhythmic phrasing. The "prayer" motif returns at the beginning of the third part and is then expanded into a cadence. The music ends with a short coda expressing a sprightly mood.
The composer believes that in keeping to more traditional styles, rather than imposing gimmicky contemporary twists, it allows the performers to interpret the music using their own creativity and styles. He believes that by giving the performers more freedom to interpret the music, the oboe’s characteristic tones can shine through. This philosophy is also expressed in his newer concerto for solo-horn and orchestra, "Miko Dance".
Hiroshi Hoshina was born in 1936 in Tokyo. He studied composition at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where his thesis won first prize for orchestral composition at the Mainichi-Classic Competition. He has composed many pieces for orchestra, wind orchestra, opera, instrumental solos, and chamber music and is regarded as one of the most distinguished wind composers in Japan. Some of his most acclaimed works, such as “Koshi” and “Ceremonial Dance,” which were originally composed for orchestra, have been arranged for wind band. In 2009, Hoshina’s “Miko Dance” (originally composed for solo horn and orchestra, but arranged for solo horn and piano and published by Editions BIM) was chosen as a compulsory piano piece for the final round at the 20° Concorso Internazionale “CITTA DI PORCIA”. Hoshina’s music is often regarded as on influence of French impressionist, yet his works creates an aura of Japanese atmosphere. Throughout his career as a composer, he concluded to stop exploring contemporary and experimental music and to search for further possibility of tonal music. His music is natural and sounds easy for performing, however, many players include professional performers mention how Hoshina’s music has depths and not easy to reach their goal. From the very beginning, teaching amateur musicians was one of the most important aspects of his work. He has been resident conductor at Okayama University Symphony Orchestra for over 45 years. Through his continuing efforts with the orchestra, he has developed a unique and unified method for musical analysis, interpretation, and performance. This methodology works remarkably well for musicians starting out in school brass bands, community orchestras, or wind orchestras. Hoshina’s methodology and expertise fueled his activity as a conductor, clinician and author. During his distinguished career, Hoshisha taught at Tokyo Collage of Music, Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music, and Hyogo University of Teacher Education where he retired in 2001.
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