Karen Tanaka: Crystalline

"It was in bracingly modern works of recent decades by Karen Tanaka and Tristan Murail that the Japanese-born Mr. Kigawa, a new-music champion, seemed at home. He began with “Crystalline,” a concentrated five-minute work from 1988 by Ms. Tanaka, a leading Japanese composer. The piece unfolds as a series of gestures. A burst of activity — a sudden splattering of notes, some jumpy chords, a skittish riff — is inevitably followed by a dramatic pause in which the sounds are allowed to linger. Ms. Tanaka’s musical language is reminiscent of Messiaen’s, complete with fidgety birdcalls, though she is more beholden to the 12-tone aesthetic and Asian modal harmonies." - Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

"Taka Kigawa played with coolly precise virtuosity." - Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times