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  • chrisdumigan

Shin – Ichi Fukuda and Shigenori Kudo : Japanese Guitar Music Vol4 : CD

TORU TAKEMITSU: Toward the Sea; Nami no Bon: Air: ICHIRO NODAIRA: Wave Recollections (2017 version): TAMEZO NARITA: Song of the Beach: TADASHI YANADA: Rain Over Jogashima: TEIICHI OKANO: My Old Country Home; The Night of a Hazy Moon: TAMI NODAIRA: Water Drops;: KOSAKU YAMADA: The Dunes: RENTARO TAKI: The Moon Over the Ruined Castle.

Shin – Ichi Fukuda (Gtr) and Shigenori Kudo (Flute)

Naxos: 8573911

Toru Takemitsu wrote and arranged a number of works for the guitar, and the ones that I have come across have this almost other – worldly, gentle but slightly strange sound that really is an attractive style to have. Toward The Sea is a three – movement suite, beginning with The Night, a haunting flute melody underpinned by some gently unusual harmonies on the guitar. Moby Dick is more animated n the guitar but still consists largely of long notes on the flute, although there are moments when both players are moving very fast indeed. Again the movement is full of sadness and a strange emptiness in the music. Cape Cod continues in the same vein with a quiet and mysterious close. Nami No Bon (Worship at the Sea), is a guitar solo arrangement of a TV theme by D. Suzuki and is instantly in an entirely different style, with close harmony chords and a beautiful melody that is much more key – based than anything in the previous Suite, and a piece I would love to see the sheet music for. The Air that follows,( the last Takemitsu track) is a flute solo of some complexity, and indeed has the performer doing all manner of difficult music on the flute. The style is more aligned with the opening suite in that it is difficult to find a key structure, but nothing in it is an emotion-less atonality, but rather a very complex tonally bound piece of writing.

Ichiro Nodaira’s solo guitar piece Wave Recollections (2017 version) is full of improvisatory – like so8unds complete with note bends , and violently slammed chords and only a piece for those that like their music atonal, and very unique and unusual, especially at nearly 11 minutes in length. The duo’s arrangement of Tamezo Narita’s Song of the Beach is a beautiful melody, lovely harmonies and sounding perfectly natural in its arranged guise, and similarly their arrangement of the flute and harp piece, Rain Over Jogashima by Tadashi Yanada is another lovely work, almost folk – song like in its haunting melody and harmonies. Teiichi Okano’s first piece on this CD, My Old Country Home is in a similar vein to the previous two, and sounds perfectly natural here.(It was originally a children’s song written in 1914 ) Water Drops is a guitar solo by the wife of Ichiro Nodaira, Tami .It has moments of almost Debussy – like harmonies, whilst retaining a melodic structure that is interesting if a little unexpected.

Kosaku Yamada was a famous composer from the 20th Century and the duo’s arrangement of his piece The Dunes is quiet and emotional and with some lovely moments that really suit the flute and guitar version we find here. Teiichi Okano’s 2nd piece The Night of a Hazy Moon, is in a similar vein to his other work, very melodic, with a lovely tune, and some beautiful harmony work from the guitar.

The final work is Rentaro Taki’s The Moon Over the Ruined Castle, which is a fast moving piece written in the early years of the 20th Century. It is another popular work in Japan, and brilliantly arranged by Tadashi Yanada for flute and guitar. It is a short but effective conclusion to this wonderfully played set of pieces that the greater majority of listeners won’t know previously. As such I can really recommend this set as very interesting, and for the most part lovely to listen to , and will be a lovely CD to get acquainted with, if you like the flute and guitar sound.

Chris Dumigan

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