Three Songs of Autumn from the Heian Period (1932)
Brief description: Akira Ifukube's first known attempt at composition, scored for mezzo-soprano and piano. Believed lost for over eighty years, it received its first known public performance in July 2016 at the Tokyo College of Music.

Jin (1932)
Brief description: Work for solo guitar, inspired by an Ainu dance. Score is lost.

Nocturne (1933)
Brief description: Work for solo guitar. Score is lost.

Piano Suite (1933)
Brief description: Work for solo piano and Ifukube's first published work. Four movements: Bon Odori (Allegro energico), Tanabata (Lento tranquillo), Nagashi (Quasi burlesco), Nebuta (Marciale pesante). Piano Suite was performed by Gino Gorini at the Venice International Contemporary Music Festival in 1938. Dedicated to the American pianist George Copeland.

Japanese Rhapsody (1935)
Brief description: Ifukube's first orchestral work. Two movements: Nocturne and Fête. Japanese Rhapsody requires a large orchestra with triple woodwind and an unusually extended percussion section. Completed at the composer's isolated forest cabin in 1935. Later that same year, Japanese Rhapsody won the Tcherepnin Prize in Paris. In 1936 it debuted in Boston. In 1938 the Nocturne movement was performed in various European cities and, upon its Helsinki première, it won the admiration of Jean Sibelius. Dedicated to the Russian-American conductor Fabien Sevitzky.

Triptyque aborigène (1937)
Brief description: Work for chamber orchestra in three movements: Payses (Tempo di jimkuu), Timbe (Nom regional), Pakkai (Chant d'Aino). Ifukube began work on this piece at his forest cabin and completed it at the Gomi-ryokan (Japanese-style inn) in Akkeshi, Hokkaido. Its three movements are descriptive of scenes from Akkeshi. Dedicated to Alexander and Louisine Tcherepnin.

© Erik Homenick. All rights reserved.