WORKS OF THE 1940s


Etenraku (1940)
Brief description: Ifukube's first ballet. The score requires full orchestra and choir. Written for the occasion of the 2600th anniversary of the founding of Japan. The original manuscript score is mostly lost. No available recordings.

Symphony Concertante for Piano and Orchestra (1941)
Brief description: Ifukube's first concerto. Three movements: Vivace meccanico, Lento con malincolia, Allegro barbaro. Première was in Tokyo in 1942. Score was considered lost since the 1940s but was reconstructed in the mid-1990s.

Ballata Sinfonica (1943)
Brief description: Work for standard-size orchestra in two movements: Prima Ballata: Allegro capriccioso, Seconda Ballata: Andante rapsodico. Ballata Sinfonica received the Education Minister's Award. Dedicated to the composer's brother, Isao Ifukube.

Kishi Mai (1943)
Brief description: March for wind orchestra inspired by the military exploits of Empress Jingu (196-264 AD).

Marche Triomphale (1943)
Brief description: Military march originally scored for orchestra. Reconstructed and arranged for wind orchestra in 2007 by Satoshi Imai.

Arctic Forest (1944)
Brief description: Orchestral tone poem in three movements: The Dimming of Light in the Forest (Andante tranquillo), Song of the Woodcutter (Moderato pastorale) and Mountain Wine Festival (Allegro rapsodico). Première was in Jilin Province, Manchuria in April 1944. Considered lost for decades, a copy of the score resurfaced in the 2000s.

Oberture Festiva "Sa Bago Filipinas" (1944)
Brief description: Work for orchestra and two pianos. Premiered in January 1944.

Prélude du soldat (1944)
Brief description: Military march for orchestra.

Ancient Minstrelsies of Gilyak Tribes (1946)
Brief description: Work for soprano and piano based on the aesthetics of Nivkh (Gilyak) music. Four movements: Ai ai gomteira, Peach Picking Woman's Song, The River Over There, Song of Those Going to the Bear Sacrifice Ceremony. In 1984, Ancient Minstrelsies was arranged for orchestra by Yashushi Akutagawa, Teizo Matsumura, Toshiro Mayuzumi and Sei Ikeno.

Egozaida (1947)
Brief description: "Modernist" ballet in which the principal dancer handles an icosehedron, a 20-sided geometric shape.

Ballet of the Wandering People (1948)

Rapsodia Concertante for Violin and Orchestra (1948, revised 1971)
Brief description: Also known as Violin Concerto no. 1, Rhapsodia Concertante has two movements: Adagio-Allegro and Vivace spirituoso. Ifukube revised the piece in 1951 and again in 1971. Première was in Tokyo in 1948.

Salome (1948, revised 1987)
Brief description: Ballet based on the biblical story of Salome. Believed lost for decades, the manuscript score was rediscovered in the mid-1980s. Ifukube revised the original score after its rediscovery. The original version was first performed in 1949. The revised version premiered in Tokyo in 1987.

Rhythmic Games for Children (1949)
Brief description: Composed to accompany physical exercise activites for elementary school children. Rhythmic Games is scored for a small orchestra and contains 10 brief movements, some of which are based on Japanese folk songs.

Enchanted Castle (1949)

Three Lullabies Among the Native Tribes on the Island of Sakhalin (1949)
Brief description: Work for soprano and piano, based on the music of the Evenki, Nivkh (Gilyak) and Orok peoples, all of whom are indigenous to the island of Sakhalin.



© Erik Homenick. All rights reserved.