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'Dream of the Cherry Blossoms'  contemporary marimba music from Japan Daniella Ganeva CALA CACD77002



Minoru Miki - Marimba Spiritual
Keiko Abe - Dream of the Cherry Blossoms
Toru Takemitsu - Rain Tree
Minoru Miki - Time for Marimba
Akira Yuyama - Divertimento
Toshimitsu Tanaka - Two Movements for Marimba

Daniella Ganeva, the young Bulgarian percussionist, has released on CALA, an intriguing disc of contemporary marimba music from Japan, 'Dream of the Cherry Blossoms'. The marimba, only started to be taken seriously as a classical instrument after the 1940's when a concerto was written for it by Paul Creston. Recently Japanese composers have significantly added to its repertoire.

One of the highlights of the record is Minoru Miki's 'Marimba Spiritual', written in response to the 1983 African famine. It starts with a spacious exploration of the resonance of the marimba, and concludes with a more upbeat, rhythmically driven ending,  accompanied by three other percussionists.

The title track, by Keiko Abe describes the cherry blossoms falling in the Japanese countryside. It is a hypnotic kaleidoscope, making particularly effective use of the lower reaches of the marimba. Other tracks include a jazz inspired piece for marimba and saxophone, and a piece by the late Toru Takemitsu. Ganeva performs well  throughout, and this is an interesting and enjoyable collection.


Malcolm Galloway


Malcolm Galloway

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