Scottish guitarist Finlay Hay performs Wainscot Pond from In the Woods by Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996). This comes via Finlay Hay’s YouTube Channel. Below Hay performs Etude No.1 by Giulio Regondi (1823–1872) via Matthew McAllister’s YouTube.
Finlay Hay is studying in his first year undergraduate degree with Matthew McAllister and Allan Neave at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He previously was studying at the Menuhin School under prof. Richard Wright. Amazing playing by Hay with a mature musicality, phrasing, and relaxed technique. The diversity in his playing is well beyond his years with a real change in playing style from the Takemitsu to Regondi. His fluid technique is a joy to watch in such a young player. Go subscribe to his YouTube, he’s an artist you’ll want to follow.
Some Extra Info on In the Woods via Graham Wade via Naxos
In the Woods (composed in hospital, November 1995, Takemitsu’s last composition before his death in February 1996), consists of three independent pieces for solo guitar, Wainscot Pond, after a painting of Cornelia Foss, dedicated to John Williams, Rosedale, dedicated to Kiyoshi Shomura, and Muir Woods, dedicated to Julian Bream. The première of Wainscot Pond, performed by Norio Sato, took place on the occasion of the funeral service for Toru Takemitsu in Tokyo on 29 February 1996. Julian Bream gave the first performance of Muir Woods in London on 4 October 1996. The work in its entirety, as well as the second piece, Rosedale, was first played by Kiyoshi Shomura in Tokyo on 15 October 1996.
As Takemitsu has commented, each title is taken from a place where there is a beautiful forest. Rosedale Woods are in Toronto, Canada, in a quiet residential area of the city where the trees are especially beautiful in the sunlight of early autumn. Muir Woods are in a suburb of San Francisco where giant sequoia trees ‘extend towards heaven in the deep forest’, which reminded the composer of the frailty of humanity in the face of nature. Takemitsu wrote Wainscot Pond after receiving a postcard from a friend showing a picturesque landscape, but confessed that he did not know where it was situated in the United States. In fact, Wainscot Pond is a lake in the Hamptons, Suffolk County, in the state of New York, some 160 kilometres from Manhattan.
Julian Bream has described Muir Woods in terms that could well apply to all three pieces: ‘The music has an undeniable valedictory quality. It is highly distilled and the texture characteristically refined. It is also music of extraordinary stillness, music that dissolves gently into silence. ’