“Karamatsu (Larch)” has been sung by many people in various arrangements such as solo voice, female choir and mixed choir. The original version is for solo voice and piano and the poetry, which is written by Akira Nogami, sings of the larch forests of Asama Heights and Karuizawa (Nagano Prefecture). Kobayashi, who himself confessed his great love for the piano, also arranged “Karamatsu” for piano solo and described the piece as ‘clothed in a solo performance of amplified pianism’. Kobayashi’s characteristic lyricism can be found fully alive in this piano version and the dramatic unfolding of the original composition can be felt even greater.
“Karamatsu” for piano solo is written in F major and in four-four time and lasts sixty-nine bars. The tonal structures and harmony used are nearly identical to the vocal version, and the high-pitched area also continues to ring with triplets while the lower register supports with quarter notes. However, in the second transposition to D minor, the echo of harmonies and arpeggios of the upper register as well as the octave sounds of the lower register are added to the piano solo version and a more powerful sense of passion gushes forth. Hence, when the main melody played at pianississimo returns to F major, the contrasts of dynamics and movement stand out in the remaining aftermath of the climax.
When performing “Karamatsu”, which often employs the main chords of F major and D minor, it is desirable to make use of the pedals precisely and perform in a suitable speed.