Verdict: A humbling Naxos release highlights just how much fine music is waiting to be discovered.
Jun Markl conducted Zemlinsky, Schubert and Richard Strauss with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra last year, laying out a memorably simpatico backdrop for Measha Brueggergosman in Strauss' Four Last Songs.
The German features on one of these humbling Naxos CDs that reveal just how much wonderful music is still waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.
Markl and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra present the orchestral music of Toshio Hosokawa. The 58-year-old composer has created a personal soundworld in which his Japanese heritage is tinctured and extended through his studies in Germany in the 70s and 80s.
The three concertos here offer music for immersion and, be warned, there is no resisting their sonic enticement. The first, Moment of Blossoming, with the excellent horn soloist Stefan Dohr, evokes flowers bursting from a strange and vaguely threatening landscape, underscored by the ominous whir of a wind machine.
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Hosokawa's 2006 piano concerto, Lotus Under The Moonlight, is described as a homage to Mozart. The slow movement of the Piano Concerto K 488 is tagged as its inspiration, but Mozart's lilting siciliana is not easily discerned in these reverberant washes of colour.
Around the seven minute mark, when string soloists burst from the musical undergrowth, you can sense Hosokawa's recurrent themes of birth and the eternal cycle of life.
Stunningly recorded, the Scottish players respond with alacrity to the ever-scrupulous Markl, while pianist Momo Kodama plays with a sense of involvement only to be expected in a score written for her.
The final track, the 2009 Chant, is a cello concerto showcasing Anssi Karttunen.
Last year, premiering a Magnus Lindberg concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Finnish cellist was praised for his "natural grace unruffled by even the most extreme virtuosic demands".
And so it is here, in a work couched in a more trenchant idiom than the concertos that precede it. Those nervous with the contemporary may find Hosokawa's horn and piano works more welcoming gateways, but the sheer visceral energies of Chant make one wonder, yet again, why there is not more of the music of today in our concert halls.