Cantata TENGAI was composed in October 2000, at the request of Mrs. Yoshiko Morita, to mark the first anniversary of the death of Mr. Akio Morita. The title TENGAI is taken from Mr. Morita's posthumous Buddhist name "SeishoinTENGAIkeidojoza". The cantata is a majestic piece of vocal music, bearing a message from boundless space, larger than the world, larger than the cosmos.
Business began long ago as dealings between neighbors. Then it gradually grew into dealings between neighboring towns, then neighboring countries, then most of the countries of the world. People carried their goods on foot, then on horseback, then on ships, then trucks, then aircraft.
Today's business is conducted through invisible messages criss-crossing the sky. How far will it spread, as it goes beyond the cosmos? Akio and I once watched a total eclipse of the sun together, from the peak of the Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii. I will never forget the profound emotion of watching the sun come up, seeing the great crimson disc gradually hidden by the moon, shivering as the air turned cold and the world was plunged into semi-darkness, and finally seeing the mysterious corona.
This spring, after Akio's death, I climbed Mauna Kea alone, and as I watched the evening sun sink into a beautiful sea of clouds, I cried out in my heart "This is the TENGAI." Boundless, infinite, larger than the world, larger than the cosmos. At this moment, I thought, out there in the TENGAI, Akio will be planning some great project. All his life, from when he was a child, Akio would be taking apart things that caught his interest and putting them together again, endlessly asking "Why? Why?"
He was proud of the fact that he had studied physics at university. In fact, he would rather have been spoken of as a great physicist than a great businessman. On October 3, 1999, at the age of 78, still chasing a man's dreams, the dreams of a physicist, he came to the close of his life.
But no, it wasn't the close. He is undoubtedly there in boundless space, in the TENGAI, in the midst of a great energy, previously unimaginable, thinking of something, creating something. He lived a happy life on earth and is living a happy life in the TENGAI. The thought came to us that we would one day like to have Shigeaki Saegusa compose a beautiful symphony for us on as large a scale as he was inspired to. This spring, before the symphony was finished, I telephoned Mr. Saegusa from Hawaii.
"I've decided on the title for the symphony. It will be 'The TENGAI Symphony'."
Mr. Masahiko Shimada wrote some lyrics. A chorus was added and the work became the Cantata TENGAI. The text is entitled "The Prayer of a Free Person," a prayer that any of us might say to ourselves in our heart.
It is my earnest hope that this composition will become an immortal masterpiece, making its way around the world, flowing through the cosmos, and even finding its way as far as the TENGAI.
Finally, a great many people have put in much effort on our behalf so that this concert in memory of Akio, and the first performance of the Cantata TENGAI, would be possible. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude not only to Mr. Saegusa and Mr. Shimada, but also to their staff, to the conductor Mr. Naoto Otomo, the members of the Japan Virtuoso Symphony Orchestra, the chorus master Mr. Shin Sekiya and the members of the Shin-yu Chorus, the soprano Ms. Shinobu Sato, who is making a special appearance, the boy soprano Ludwig Mittelhammer, Mr. Katsumi Asaba, who designed the wonderful posters and program, and to the photographers Mr. Kishin Shinoyama and Mr. Kazumi Kurigami, who worked so hard behind the scenes.
Yoshiko Morita, October 2000