Have a Big Bite of Japanese Minyo 100 - Okawari Version (2 CDs)
Part 2 of 'Have a Big Bite of Japanese Minyo 100'. 100 minyo songs from Hokkaido in the far north to Okinawa in the far south. All traditional performances, superb recording. A great document of Japanese folk music.
KINICHI NAKANOSHIMA, TOSHIKO YONEKAWA
Rokudan - Masterpiece of Koto
Six masterpieces for koto written during the Edo period. The main type of instrumental koto music is called shirabemono and the piece, Rokudan is the classic example of this style. The other compositions from the same era and mostly credited to the Yatsuhashi school are Godanjo, Chidori No Kyoku, Midare, Akikaze No Kyoku, Kaede No Hana. The koto players include Kinichi Nakanoshima and Toshiko Yonekawa.
Farmers planting crops, fishermen pulling in nets, festivals, lullabies are just some of the themes of Japanese minyo or folk songs. Any rural area in Japan has its own repertroire which differ greatly to one another, as each community was relatively isolated for many years during the feudal period. The twenty tracks on this CD range from Hokkaido in the far north to Kagoahima in the deep south. These include Soran Bushi, Esashi Oiwake, Tsugaru Jonkara Bushi, Otachizake, Hanagasa Ondo, Mogamigawa Funauta, Kiso Bushi and Kuroda Bushi.
The exciting Tsugaru shamisen tradition derived from blind musicians in northern Japan who roamed the villages singing and narrating stories. The style has become popular in recent years in Japan and overseas through musicians such as the Yoshida Brothers, Agatsuma and Shinichi Kinoshita. Chikuzan Takahashi (1910-98) is the original star of the genre, the person who the current crop aspire to. This CD features fourteen superb performances by Chikuzan Takahashi.
GAGAKU ORCHESTRA from THE IMPERIAL HOUSEHOLD AGENCY
Special Selection of Gagaku
Gagaku, meaning 'elegant music' is the ancient court music of Japan. It is one of the most unique forms of music in the world, influenced by music from India, China and Korea. By the Heian period, gagaku had become popular at court and an integral part of ceremonies. It is the earliest instrumental and orchestral form of music in Japan. The instruments fall under either the percussion, strings or winds categories. Percussion instruments include huge dadaiko drums, gakudaiko, the shoko gong, the kakko (small horizontal drum) and san no tsuzumi (hourglass drum). Stringed instruments are the wagon (6 stringed zither) koto (13 stringed zither) biwa (lute) and wind instruments the hichiriki (double reed woodwind) three flutes, kagurabue, ryuteki and komabue and sho, 17 reed pipes in a cup shaped wind chest. Listen to the seven traditional tunes on this CD and you can imagine you are in ancient Japan. The musicians are from the Music Department of the Imperial Household Agency.
Noh is Japan's classic dance drama, a combination of literature, theatre and music. This CD features three major noh performances. Nohgaku hayashi (music) and the instruments of the nohkan (flute) and the kotsuzumi, otsuzumi and taiko drums. Yokyoku (singing) which developed from Buddhist chanting and has a special quality of grace and vibratos to add variety to the tone. Finally noh performance. The tracks are Nohgaku Hayashi 'Shishi', Yokyoku 'Hagoromo' (Hojo-ryu), and Noh 'Takasago' (Kanze-ryu).
GORO YAMAGUCHI, REIBO AOKI, HOZAN YAMAMOTO
Special Selection of Shakuhachi
The shakuhachi is an end blown bamboo flute. The main figures in the growth of shakuhachi music were the wandering basket hatted priests and the instrument is often associated with zen Buddhism. There are two main schools. Kinko-ryu developed in Tokyo, out of the Meian school of the original Kyoto komosu monks. Kinko limits itself to 36 honkyoku, solo or original pieces and numerous gaikyoku, mostly ensemble pieces. The Tozan style started up in the Osaka area. It was founded by Nakao Tozan (1876-1956) who successfully popularized the shakuhachi, especially among young people in Kansai. Three shakuhachi players all designated as National Treasures play songs from both Kinko-ryu and Tozan-ryu. The five tracks are Sokaku Reibo, Koku, Shika No Tone, Kogarashi and Momiji.
Special Selection of Oiwai Hogaku
Interestingly themed compilation of traditional tunes performed at celebrations. The genres include gagaku (court orchesta music) yokyoku (noh singing) sokyoku (koto music) nagauta (lyrical shamisen music) kouta and hauta (short shamisen songs) shigin (singing Chinese poems in Japanese) and minyo (folk songs). Nineteen tracks.
ONDEKOZA, OSUWADAIKO, NOUSODAIKO
Ohdaiko is the large taiko drum with two tacked heads. Different types of sticks produce different sounds, from booming sounds to dramatic rattles.This CD features the ohdaiko performances by three top taiko groups, Ondekoza, Suwadaiko and Nousodaiko. Six tracks.
The shakuhachi bamboo flute normally plays honyoku, (original pieces) gaikyoku (borrowed pieces) or shinkyoku (new pieces). On this CD the shakuhachi is used to perform classic minyo (folk) songs from throughout Japan. The eighteen tracks include Esashi Oiwake, Soran Bushi, Akita Obako, Otachizake, Jusan No Sunayama, Nagamochi Uta, Iso Bushi, Sado Okesa, Iso Bushi and Kagoshima Hamabushi. Lively and entertaining.
The taishogoto is an unusual autoharp. It was$created by Goro Morita in Nagoya around 1920, and is a two stringed koto with buttons above the strings which are pushed down like a western autoharp. It became a popular amateur instrument and various schools developed. This is a CD of fourteen popular songs for the taishogoto played by Akiyo Kato and players from the Kinho-ryu and Kinsho-ryu schools.
Have A Big Bite of Japanese Minyo 100
Nearly every minyo or folk song is associated with a particular area, community or district.This groundbreaking 2 CD set of 100 tracks takes in virtually every major style from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south. Songs for dancing, work, lullabies, drinking songs, to bring rain, a bountiful harvest and many more. The classic minyo include Soran Bushi, Hokkai Ondo, Esashi Oiwake, Tsugaru Jonkara Bushi, Akita Obatko, Mogamigawa Funauta, Tokiwa Tanko Bushi, Kusatu Bushi, Chichibu Ondo, Sado Okesa, Ecchu Owara Bushi, Ise Ondo, Awaodori, Nagasaki Burabura Bushi, Otemoyan and Asadoya Yunta.
Have A Big Bite of Japanese Chorus
2 CD 50 track compilation of famous Japanese chorus songs from the very old to the very latest (1900-2005). The list of composers reads like a who's who of the composer profession in Japan including Rentaro Taki, Yasushi Akutagawa, Yoshinao Nakata, Toru Takemitsu and Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Have a Big Bite of Japanese Gassho 2 (2 CDs)
50 Japanese standard lyrical songs by 50 different composers sung by various chorus groups. The famous songs include Hitoni (Yasushi Akutagawa), Hana no Machi (Ikuma Dan), Daiichi Vocaliese (Toru Takemitsu), Yuki no Hiwa (Saburo Takada), Chiisai Aki Mitsuketa (Yoshinao Nakata) and Himawari no Kaze (Kan Ishii)