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for violin and orchestra
violin and orchestra
In Prayer, the soloist is a shaman, and the orchestra symbolizes the universe or nature. This piece is the music of the prayer of the shaman; he repeatedly delivers his song to the orchestra, which responds to him, and whose sound gradually becomes bigger and bigger and overwhelms him. In the next part, an elegy is sung, which is a song of lamentation and of mourning for the war in Ukraine. At last, the sound of the soloist becomes one with the orchestra’s tender resonance. Toshio Hosokawa
Product number: LSJ 4706-01
Edition: Performance material

Product Details


The pandemic that began in 2020 has not ended, the war in Ukraine began in February 2022, and the world is becoming increasingly chaotic. On a personal note, it was at such a time that my mother passed away and I myself fell ill and was repeatedly hospitalised and operated on. The violin concerto 'Prayer' was born during these times.

I have always enjoyed admiring Buddhist statues. In Japan, stone and wooden Buddha images can be found not only in temples, but also on ordinary roadsides. Many of them were carved by unknown sculptors (buddhist sculptors) and have been carefully watched over and preserved by people for a long time. The 'prayers' of these Buddhist statues are probably supporting us in unseen places. I wonder if my musical works could have the same 'prayer' as the Buddha statues created by this unknown sculptor.

I believe that music has its origins in shamanistic festivals and that shamans' prayer songs are fundamental. In this violin concerto, too, I see the soloist as the shaman and the orchestra in the background as the cosmos, nature, which extends within and beyond the shaman. The shaman sings to the cosmos, to which the cosmos responds or rebels. During the exchange of songs, the prayer gradually deepens and the shaman finally becomes one with the cosmos and nature.

The whole is divided into five parts.

1, Introduction. Spirits descend slowly from the heavens.

2, Interlude. A person (violin solo) responds to the voice of the spirit, which silently descends in a glissando from the heavens to the earth.

3, Song of Prayer. Song of man living on the earth. From a low note, gradually rising.

4A, Struggle A. The song of man (violin) goes violently upwards, to which the orchestra responds violently.

4B, Struggle B. The violins move even more violently, to which the orchestra reacts aggressively, as if to overwhelm them.

5, Purification. The orchestra quietly sustains a harmonic octave, into which the solo violin slowly dissolves.

This piece is dedicated to Daishin Kashimoto, the premiere performer. Daishin Kashimoto, who plays the violin, looks to me like a 'praying man'. The work was co-commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic, the Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra. Premiered 2, 3 and 4 March at the Berlin Philharmonie. Daishin Kashimoto (violin), conducted by Paavo Jaervi.

(Toshio Hosokawa)

Orchestral Cast

2 (2. Pic.) · 1 · Engl. Hr. · 1 · Bassklar. · 1 · Kfg. - 4 · 2 · 2 · 1 - S. (P. · Glsp. · Crot. · Xyl. · Vibr. · 2 Tamt. · 4 Bong. · kl. Tr. · gr. Tr. · Mar. · Peitsche · 4 Furins · Rins) (4 Spieler) - Cel. · Hfe. - Str.


I Introduction
II Interlude
III Song of Prayer - VI Struggle A · Struggle B
V Purification

More Information

for violin and orchestra
Performance material
Schott Music
Publishing year:
Year of composition:
2021 - 2022
25 ′
World Premiere:
March 2, 2023 · Berlin (D)
Berliner Philharmonie
Daishin Kashimoto, violin · Conductor: Paavo Järvi · Berliner Philharmoniker

Commissioned work :
Co-commissioned by Berliner Philharmoniker, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and Luzerner Sinfonieorchester.

Technical Details

Product number:
LSJ 4706-01

Preview/Media Contents



Set Ascending Direction
  • Prayer
    Conductor: Michael Sanderling
    Orchestra: Luzerner Sinfonierorchester
    June 15, 2023 | Luzern (Switzerland) , KKL
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    Orchestra: Luzerner Sinfonierorchester
    June 14, 2023 | Luzern (Switzerland) , KKL — National premiere
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    Conductor: Michael Sanderling
    Orchestra: Luzerner Sinfonierorchester
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  • Prayer
    Conductor: Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker
    March 4, 2023 | Berlin (Germany) , Berliner Philharmonie
  • Prayer
    Conductor: Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker
    March 3, 2023 | Berlin (Germany) , Berliner Philharmonie
  • Set Ascending Direction


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