Takemitsu, Tarkovsky and Matthew's Passion

It was the 21st anniversary of death for the renowned composer, Tohru Takemitsu, on 20th of the last month. In her essay, his wife has told how he had spent the last days in his life.

Two days before his passing, he told his wife to go home sooner since it was heavily snowing and it might take her long time to get to home. On that evening he spent alone at the hospital, he has by chance listened to the Matthew's Passion by Bach broadcasted on the radio. It was the most favorite piece in music for him. Snowing quietly outside and this music resonant to our existence flowing at the hospital room he spent the night alone.

The day after, he told his wife how wonderful that piece was. When he started composing something, he always listened to the famous Aria, Er barme dich, mein Gott, which was the best in this music for him.

He also loved the movies of Tarkovsky. In Tarkovsky's last work titled "Sacrifice", that aria in Matthew's Passion was impressively featured at the last scene. Tarkovsky has told we could live with certain sacrifice in the world we never knew of its existence.

When I am quitting this world, I sure would like to listen to this music as Takemitsu and Tarkovsky might have done.


  1. Thank You Shin for Posting this! I agree with your comments.

    1. This piece is still attractive to me. I could understand why Tarkovsky has put it to the last scene. Really impressive. I am glad you have enjoyed this post.

  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Piknfy277Vg

    I think that is the song Shin

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment. What I wanted to comment was rather the 5th movement of this symphony. All movements are moving us a lot. When we reach the folowing phrase sung by Soprano solo, however, we may be filled with peace and gratitude;

      O glaube: Du wardst nicht umsonst geboren!
      Hast nicht umsonst gelebt, gelitten!

      I hope to see you often and to talk about these music.

      See you soon.


    2. Sorry, yes you nentioned soprano not alto..so 5th movement. I looked up the full lyric in English. It is very meaningful, innocent. Take care.