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A contemporary of Toru Takemitsu, Teizo Matsumura combined European influences with Asian musical traditions. His tautly-constructed Symphony No. 1, a work of genuine power and intense sonic splendour, evokes the image of innumerable locusts swarming over the earth. Symphony No. 2, written over 30 years later and inspired by a poster of a pair of sumo-wrestler-like statues standing at the entrance to a famous Buddhist temple in Nara, Japan, is a soulful monologue of alternating sorrow and hope.
The richly expressive symphonic poem To the Night of Gethsemane, inspired by Giotto’s fresco The Kiss of Judas, was Matsumura’s last orchestral work.