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Ronald E. Grames
Fanfare, January 2013

Qunihiko Hashimoto’s Symphony No. 2…[is] conventionally lyrical…certainly a pleasant…listening experience.

…[in] the Three Wasan…Hashimoto succeeds in combining Western and Japanese aesthetics into a comfortable unity, producing a work of subtlety and emotional depth. It is an intriguing approach to these ancient hymns that harks back to Hashimoto’s late-1920s experiments with jōruri set in Western song forms.

The Scherzo con sentimento…is melodically Japanese…The charming and evocative work is a remarkable achievement for a young autodidact composer, heralding an individuality of style…

As has been the case in many of the Naxos of Japan releases, Takuo Yuasa proves a keen advocate for the music of his homeland. The Tokyo Geidai Philharmonia…plays with great skill and conviction…the recording is outstanding. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review

Roger Hecht
American Record Guide, November 2012

The playing is the best I’ve heard from the series, and the sound is up there, too. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, July 2012

Conductor Takuo Yuasa and the Tokyo Geidai Philharmonia along with baritone Akiya Fukushima in the Three Wasan give stirring accounts of everything here. Their performances are a welcome addition to an earlier Naxos release of Hashimoto’s orchestral music that included his first symphony (1940).

Made at Sogakudo Concert Hall in Tokyo, the recordings are good with a realistic well-proportioned soundstage in a warm acoustic. Mr. Fukushima’s voice is beautifully captured. © 2012 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2012

Two works from a reformed character, the cutting-edge modernism engendered by the young Japanese composer, Qunihico Hashimoto, having mellowed into tonality. Like so many Japanese musicians who went to Europe, Hashimoto’s arrival in Vienna, and his exposure to Western symphonic music, found him absorbing so many different influences, the Second Viennese School filling his head with ideas as to the roads down which music was travelling. He jumped into that vanguard, but it was not greeted on his return to a musically conservative Japan. Then came the Second World War and having suffered his nation’s humiliation in defeat, Hashimoto reinvented himself as a composer of tonal music, his Second Symphony, completed in 1947, expressing hope for Japan’s place in the new world. He seems to have recalled all he heard in the 1930’s, with late 19th century romantic music, Charles Ives, and a liberal quantity of Hollywood film music. Melodic ideas flood the score, and his ability to orchestrate brings a wealth of colour. The Three Wasan take their name from the chanting of Buddhist hymns, here clothed in Western sounds in a score for baritone and double-wind orchestra. I guess they make a greater impact in the Eastern world than to my untutored ears. Finally to the Scherzo, a score that does not have the effervescence we associate with such a description, but it comes from 1928 and at a time when he was largely self-taught. There is a fusion of East and West, with a sentimental central section, before the boisterous conclusion. The orchestra, largely formed from graduates at the Tokyo University of Arts, is a very accomplished ensemble, with one of the University professors, Akiya Fukushima, as the baritone soloist. Super sound quality. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

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