Symphony no. 3 (‘Ego Phano’)

The name of Shin-ichiro Ikebe is probably best known among moviegoers as the composer frequently collaborated with Akira Kurosawa, the great classic of Japanese cinema. Yet Ikebe is first and foremost a composer of operas and symphonies, who named Bartók and Messiaen as his primary influences among the masters of the 20th century.
 
The third of Ikebe's six symphonies bears a Greek subtitle. Ego phano (%u201CI shall reveal”) were words spoken by King Oedipus in Sophocles' drama, at the moment where the hero vows to find out why Thebes is being ravaged by the plague. The verb phano, however, can be intransitive as well as transitive, and the phrase, as Ikebe noted, can also be translated as %u201CI appear”%u2014in other words, we can be discoverers and secrets waiting to be discovered at the same time. This explains the choice of title; otherwise, the symphony has no connection to the Oedipus myth. The composer even disclosed that he had been thinking about this title for a long time before writing the work to which it became attached.
 
The symphony is in a single movement with several tempo changes. Throughout the work, we constantly hear the note G around which all the contrasting musical materials are organized.