Wednesday, September 22, 2010

[New Age, Piano] Eiko Yamashita - A Fragrance Of Japan (2006) [WAV]

Eiko Yamashita - A Fragrance Of Japan (2006)
| WAV+CUE | 379MB | New Age, Piano, Instrumental | Full Covers |
Contemporary Piano Music from Japan shouldn't be mistaken for a broad survey of late 20th and early 21st century Japanese piano music. It's one tiny slice of the picture with music of just two composers, Joe Hisaishi and Yukie Nishimura. Hisaishi is well-known around the world to anime fans as a film score composer. Several of his solo piano pieces here are based on themes from his film scores (although there is nothing to indicate that in the packaging). His music is typically unabashedly lyrical and touching, gentle and inoffensive, at least in the selections here, which many would also classify as easy listening or new age music.
Since the pieces do come from movies, there are moments of drama and melancholy, but they are brief, as most of the films are for young audiences. A sense of innocence is found throughout Hisaishi's works. The Twilight Shore is the only one that hints at more adult sensibilities with the use of jazz chords; not surprisingly it's from the score to a live action, PG-13 film, Kikijuro. The other composer here, Nishimura, also composes television music, but she is more widely known in Japan for her solo piano recordings. Her three works are very similar to Hisaishi's, almost indistinguishable in character. Eiko Yamashita obviously has a love for this music. She instinctively and easily brings out the gracefulness, warmth, and charm of it. (Patsy Morita)

Eiko Yamashita was born in Kyoto and won a national music contest in Japan while still attending Tokyo’s National University. She graduated from the university with distinction and was granted a DAAD scholarship (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – German Academic Exchange Service) that took her to Volker Banfield at Hamburg’s ‘Hochschule für Musik und Theater’ (Conservatory of Music and Theatre). She graduated in Hamburg and gave her graduation recital there, completing both her studies and recital with distinction.

The young pianist won several international music contests while still studying and also gave numerous chamber music concerts and solo recitals, including recitals with orchestras; she has also performed at different music festivals. Among the highlights of Eiko Yamashita’s career have been her participation in NDR productions and as guest performer at chamber concerts given by the ‘Philharmonische Staatsorchester’.

In addition to giving concerts, Eiko also teaches music and is periodically a member of the jury judging the well-known newcomers’ contest “Jugend musiziert”. The pianist lives in Hamburg.

Tracklist:
01 - Ashitaka And San ...4:35
02 - Summer ...2:54
03 - Sky ...5:15
04 - A Summer's Day ...3:09
05 - Nocturne ...4:30
06 - Innocent (Castle In The Sky) ...3:25
07 - The Wind Forest ...5:04
08 - Stars ...5:14
09 - The Twilight Shore ...5:08
10 - Resphonia ...5:28
11 - Fantasia ...6:49
12 - Dreamy Child ...3:44
13 - Eternal Dream ...5:17

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