News & Reviews
- Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The reissue of the groundbreaking Nonesuch Explorer Series titles from Japan is now complete, with the recent addition of two more titles. The Independent exclaims, "It's wonderful that Nonesuch is reissuing the 92-LP Explorer Series, which put ethnomusicology on the map in the Seventies," and says of the recently reissued Koto Classics: "[I]t's wonderful to hear once more koto master Shinichi Yuize in his prime ... and these classic pieces display [the koto's] suggestive power to the full."
- Friday, November 14, 2008
"Never again will a record company essay what the producers of the Nonesuch Explorers did in 1967, bringing out a series of superb field recordings to make, eventually, a 92-record set," says The Scotsman in its five-star review of the two titles that marked the reissue of a number of Japanese Explorer Series albums on CD this fall: Koto Classics and Geza Music from the Kabuki. "The vinyl LPs ... brought to light a wealth of hitherto hidden traditions," says the review, and their return as remastered CDs "is simply wonderful, because much of this music—four decades on—is now either extinct or grievously debased."
About this Album
Kabuki exists beside the courtly Noh theatre and the puppet, or doll, theatre, and is a combination of vocal and instrumental music, dancing, pantomime, drama, and costumes on a stage. This newly remastered title, recorded in Japan, features the scene-setting geza (off-stage) music, chiefly of Kabuki, but in some cases adapted from Noh drama. Musicians employ the shamisen, flutes, bells, and drums to produce spare, percussive sounds that suggest Balinese gamelan music performed in slow motion.
Katsusuji Kineya, Kunitaro Kineya, shamisen
Matasaji Sumida, Sanji Umeya, Shinnojo Rokugo, percussion
and other leading soloists of Japan
Risei Nakamoto, Kofu Kikusui, supervisors
Originally released in 1966 (H-72012)
Recorded and edited by Katsumasa Takasago
Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig
Production Supervisor: Jac Holzman
Re-mastered by Robert C. Ludwig
Design: Doyle Partners
Cover Photograph: © Magnum Photos