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Mark Lehman
American Record Guide, August 2003

"I can't express what a pleasure it is to see Yashiro get the best possible treatment, as he does here. Pianist Hiromi Okada marries cut-glass precision to pyrotechnic dazzle, and the Ulster Orchestra under Takuo Yuasa plays with inspired abandon. (An Irish band doing Japanese music!Xamazing, isn't it? Truly we live in uno mondo.) To top everything off there's Naxos's ultra-vivid, high-impact sound, with Okada's piano captured in holographic immediacy and brilliance, the woodwinds wafting across the soundstage on plush cushions of air, the sonorous brass choirs intoning with bronze solemnity or snarling with bite, and those furious, thundering timpani pounding out of the speakers like maddened Cyclops. Fantastic music, wonderful playing, stunning sonics."



Frank Siebert
Fono Forum, April 2003

"Zum starken Eindruck der Kompositionen hat das glanzend disponierte Ulster Orchestra entscheidend beigetragen. Takuo Yuasa versteht es, die einzelnen Orchestergruppen plastisch hervortreten zu lassen. Beispielhaft ist die Brillanz der Blechblaser ebenso wie die Schattierungskunste der Streicher."



Sound and Vision Magazine, February 2003

"These are legitimate 20th Century works given world-class performances by the Ulstermen. Takuo Yuasa is the principal guest conductor of the orchestra and his presence must have clarified the interpretive axis a good deal. Nimble playing by Hiromi Okada in the Concerto."



Mark Lehman
The Absolute Sound

"Hiromi Otaka plays with cut-glass precision and glittering fire, the Ulstermen as if possessed, and Naxos's recording (made in Belfast's Ulster Hall, with the same producer that manned the label's outstanding Sinfonia Antartica) is stunning: holographic in immediacy, tectonic force. This is my choice for most revelatory orchestral recording of 2003."





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