NORIYASU TANAKA was born in Tokyo in 1952. As a child, he began private lessons in violin and piano in his home, then later studied composition at the Kunitachi Music Senior High School in Tokyo. After graduating, he continued studies in composition (1971 - 75) and organ (1975 - 77) at the Kunitachi College of Music. He is presently Associate Professor of Music at the Nagoya University of the Arts and a member of the Japan Society for Contemporary Music.
The composer has written a wide range of orchestral and chamber pieces, some of which feature Japanese instruments. Many of his works have been performed internationally. His Composition III for organ was played in Denmark (1983), Metamorphoses for piano was first heard in Germany (1991), and Message (d'après l'orthographe du nom d'Milhaud) for piano was premiered in Paris (1992). The composer was a participant in the 1999 and 2001 Pan Music Festivals held in Seoul, Korea, where several of his works were performed and broadcast.
The music of NORIYASU TANAKA has appeared on a number of CDs, most notably on the 1994 Vienna Modern Masters release "Noriyasu Tanaka: Chamber Music, Vol. 1" (VMM 2011).

FRAGMENT II for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (1989) was composed at the same time as Fragment I, which appears on my first VMM CD (VMM 2011). Both works have the same structure, though several parts of Fragment II have been revised for this recording. Generally, this work has three parts: slow-fast-slow. Like echoes resounding, the piano responds to the violin's melody, and gradually a high passage on the cello emerges as a motif. From here, the intervals of a major second and an augmented fourth dominate the music. During the developement of Fragment II, many musical themes appear, but the cello motif remains prominent. In the middle of the work, the first violin melody emerges again, and the cello motif is repeated just before the end of the piece.

Noriyasu Tanaka