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Japanese Love Songs

Composer Bertrand Dubedout
Toshio Hosokawa
Akira Ifukube
Hacène Larbi
Masakazu Natsuda
Ryo Noda
Ichiro Nodaira
Toson Shimazaki
Fuminori Tanada
Performer Claude Delangle
Jean Geoffroy
Marie Kobayashi
Period Contemporary
Romantic
Catalogue Number BIS-1630 CD
EAN 7318590016305
Format CD
Release date Dec 2008
Total time 82'08


To quote the liner notes, this unusual disc is a kind of love song ‘from and for Japan, the eternal, and eternally fascinating – a country that reconciles every opposite in arts which stretch across millennia, a volcanic comma placed as a breathing space before the Pacific…‘ The acclaimed saxophone player Claude Delangle has long been intrigued by Japan, as demonstrated already ten years ago with the disc ‘The Japanese Saxophone‘ (BIS-CD-890). From that disc we recognize a number of composers (Masakazu Natsuda, Toshio Hosokawa, Fuminori Tanada, Ichiro Nodaira) as well as the percussionist Jean Geoffroy, a longstanding collaborator of Delangle‘s. Unlike the previous, all-Japanese disc, the present programme includes works by two French composers, Bertrand Dubedout and Hacène Larbi, who have also become fascinated by the enigma of Japan. Apart from Ryo Noda‘s Improvisation I for solo saxophone, the programme consists of various combinations of voice, saxophone and percussion. By incorporating vocal works, a further dimension has also been added: the poems used by the various composers span a millennium – from the three poems by court-lady Izumi Shikibu (born c. 976) used in Hosokawa‘s Three Love Songs, to a text by Mikiro Sasaki (b.1947) – and are the fruits of highly different environments: from the imperial court of classical Japan to the thought worlds of Zen monks and the Ainu aboriginal tribe respectively. Mezzo-soprano Marie Kobayashi applies her expertise in contemporary music and her interpretative gifts to this universe of thoughts and feelings, closing the programme with an atmospheric recitation of a poem of unrequited love by Shimazaki Toson, one of the great figures in Japanese 20th century literature.
 
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  Masakazu Natsuda
  Two Poems by Ryokan (2005) 14'05
01 Awayuki no… (Light Snow) 5'17
02 Interlude (instrumental) 3'30
03 Yume no yoni (Like a Dream) 5'18
 
 
  Toshio Hosokawa
  Three Love Songs (2004) 14'34
04 I. Kurai michi (A Dark Road) 4'52
05 II. Omoide (Memory) 3'41
06 III. Hotaru (Firefly) 6'01
 
 
  Akira Ifukube
  First Eclogue after Epos Among Ainu Races (1956)
07 Shine onne ekashi kor shinotcha (Song of an old woman) 4'30
 
 
  Fuminori Tanada
08 Duo for mezzo-soprano and soprano saxophone (2006) 6'49
 
 
  Ryo Noda
09 Improvisation 1 for alto saxophone solo (1971–73) 4'37
 
 
  Akira Ifukube
  Second Eclogue after Epos Among Ainu Races
10 Yaishama ne na (Song of a bird dying in the Northern Sea) 3'51
 
 
  Ichiro Nodaira
11 Dashu no sho, for voice and alto saxophone (2003) 9'35
 
 
  Akira Ifukube
  Third Eclogue after Epos Among Ainu Races
12 Ku-taxkara kusu (Dancing song of a young girl and a witch) 1'31
 
 
  Hacène Larbi
13 Matsukaze (2006) 6'12
 
 
  Bertrand Dubedout
14 Ça va commencer ça commence (2004) 12'19
 
 
  Toson Shimazaki
15 君がこころは (Kimi ga kokoro wa) 1'36
 
  Album total 82'08
SaxophoneDelangle, Claude
PercussionGeoffroy, Jean
Mezzo-sopranoKobayashi, Marie
ComposerDubedout, Bertrand
Hosokawa, Toshio
Ifukube, Akira
Larbi, Hacène
Natsuda, Masakazu
Noda, Ryo
Nodaira, Ichiro
Shimazaki, Toson
Tanada, Fuminori

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