This was my second article for the Times and my first written in my then home, Berlin (I'm in Carrboro, NC for the next five years or so -- more on that soon!). I should just say that it was a fantastic experience. I was lucky enough to get an unofficial recording from Mr. Hosokawa, and I really cannot stop listening to the piece -- I would wager it is one of the best opera scores of this century. I'm very grateful to all those I interviewed -- Mr. Hosokawa himself, Barbara Hannigan (simply amazing), choreographer Sasha Waltz, dramaturge Ilka Seifert, stage designer Pia Maier Schriever, and Pablo Heras-Casado. Heras-Casado, who led all the performances in all four cities (with four different orchestras! not an easy feat), is conducting ICE in Mostly Mozart on Monday -- he is the real deal, and conducted a spectacular Brahms Double Concerto at Caramoor recently. Go if you're in town.
If you're interested in exploring Noh further, I would recommend Eric Rath's The Ethos of Noh , an in-depth, revisionist history of the form. You can read an English translation of Matsukaze the play here (Hannah Dubgen's libretto is a poetic but fidelitous rendition); oddly enough, of all people, the legendary Paul Griffiths writes his own interpretations of Noh plays--Tomoakira is his latest. Many thanks to Ken Ueno for suggesting preparatory reading, including Takemitsu's must-own Confronting Silence(Peter Burt's Takemitsu biography was also helpful). As far as secondary literature goes for Hosokawa, there's not much -- you can read an interesting lecture he gave in German here.
I hope someone's making a Matsukaze recording (I'm also hoping that someone's considering bringing the Sasha Waltz production Stateside); in the meantime, here's Schott's discography. The Berlin Phil recently premiered his Horn Concerto, which I saw but did not review -- it was great, and you can see it on their Digital Concert Hall (watch the whole concert, it's got some killer Schubert). This, too, is a fine piece: