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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

(b. 1952)
Piano music
Chitose Okashiro (piano)
rec Jan 2000, Tokyo
PRO-PIANO PPR224532 [63.23]
order direct from Propiano

Tong Poo - for four hands (Chitose Okashiro & J.Y. Song)
Just For Me
Choral No.1
Choral No.2
Energy Flow
Lorenz and Watson
La Dispersion, La Limite, Le Sable

Sakamoto wrote the music for the films The Last Emperor and Snake Eyes and for the opening ceremony of the Barcelona Olympics. The piano music, as represented here, falls into two broadly defined camps. The first (Suite and La Dispersion, La Limite, Le Sable, 1970 and 1976 respectively) is trendily avant-garde (at least for the 1970s) as spun by Messiaen and Stockhausen. The second camp further falls into two sections. The first is best grouped with Kapustin (whose own interpretations are soon to be issued by Boheme International in a 2CD set previously limited to the Japanese market), Lionel Sainsbury and Billy Mayerl. In this mode he is jazzy in a cool Manhattan way as in Tong Poo (where the second pianist is J Y Song) and Grasshoppers. The second is closer to Satie and Ravel. I single out the slow-swirling gauze of Bachata, the gracious old world dream dances of Intermezzo, the grace of Energy-Flow, the glycerine-filtered nostalgia of Parisian memories in Chanson and the Satiesque stillness of Lorenz and Watson which yet catches half-lights of Gershwin and Bernstein (in his concert songs). The fare is light and yet has enough emotional and intellectual fibre (often of a nostalgic caste) to stop the mind drifting. The pianist's interpretations are endorsed by the composer. The sound is well-rounded.


Rob Barnett.

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