During the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912) a broad diffusion of Western music flowed into Japan, first in the form of military band music and. later, Protestant hymns. By 1900, recitals of piano, violin and song were quite popular. Composers like Prokofiev, and performers such as Heifetz, Kreisler and Segovia also encouraged this musical direction, which strongly followed German Romanticism and French Impressionism. The new Western repertoire found a place with the traditional Japanese music, hdgaku, and as the two traditions came in contact, a new and unique form of music emerged. One of the most fascinating developments in Japanese music was the introduction of new instruments in the south of Japan, and their metamorphosis as they migrated north via Kyoto and Tokyo. Several composers on this disc have focused on natural themes, with water being a favourite and obvious choice. The works have been chosen to give a sampling of the diversity of Japanese music, from the beautiful, traditional folk-songs to the complex and challenging multi-movement works, many of which evoke the traditional instruments, namely shakuhachi and koto.
Flautist Sharon Bezaly with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Lan Shui here play the music of three composers who are all resident in the USA, but have their roots across the Pacific Ocean, in China. Philosophical, musical and literary aspects of this Chinese heritage are in evidence in the works recorded here.
The World in a Sea Shell (1968) & Good Morning Starshine (1969) two original albums by the psychedelic rock band "Strawberry Alarm Clock", collected in one CD.
This astonishing project originally came about through the Holy Convent of Assisi and its intention to mark two then-imminent events due to take place at the same time: the inauguration of the Upper Basilica, now restored after its collapse In the earthquake of 1997 and the Roman Catholic Jubilee of 2000.
Today, the sense and value of this project are apparent whenever it is performed to mark a celebration and the themes with which it deals come across increasingly strongly. These are travel as an Image of the life of the Individual and of society and solidarity, which is becoming more and more alien to our modern way of life. Excessively so.
The integrating factor in this composition, in much the same fashion as a chorus, is provided by the words of Saint Francis, seeking the stones to restore his church and the work Is based on the infinite call and response between the small and the great. There Is undoubtedly a spectacular side to this composition simply in the number of performers involved. Yet this becomes secondary when the music itself begins to bloom or when the spell is cast of those gigantic natural acoustic phenomena which arise out of the multiplying of the tiniest of sounds. Think of a river, the song of the birds, of the crickets, the hubbub of a market, the hum of the traffic and the pitter-patter of the rain.
To the ears of those who open their consciousness, the desert comes alive: those are the voices of the intelligent silence. Everything is in tune, even what appears too vast and blurred. How can the sea be tuned?….
Salvatore Sciarrinofrom the attached booklet