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Music can be a passive history lesson. Sometimes, it can take us on a fantastic, aural journey, as with Japanese composers active before World War II who reflect in their music nearly half a century of tumultuous, societal change.

A concert Tuesday featuring works by Yasuji Kiyose (1900-1981) provides a rare chance to hear Japanese history. The program of Kiyose’s songs, chamber works and short piano pieces written during the prewar years of 1932-1940 and in the postwar years between 1949-1966 reveals both the musical side of the volatile 1930s and the shift toward the internationalism of post-Olympics Japan.

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