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Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, October 2005

Here's music by one of the most accomplished, Japanese symphonist to appear in the 20th century. Saburo Moroi studied in Berlin and must have greatly admired the German school of late romantic and modern composers because their influences are very much in evidence here. The symphony dating from the last years of World War II presages the nuclear holocaust and bitter defeat Japan would soon suffer. At times it sounds like Anton Bruckner or even Cesar Franck, but towards the end there's a pathos like that found in Dmitri Shostakovich's war related symphonies. The sinfonietta, subtitled "For Children," is a lovely pastoral offering with puerile, Japanese overtones. In the first of the two symphonic movements, is that a quote we hear from Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Le Coq d'Or?" Good sound, performances and a low price certainly make this disc worth a try. You might also want to investigate the music of Kunihiko Hashimoto.

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