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Brian Reinhart
MusicWeb International, November 2016

…this disc brings great discoveries, not least of them the impeccable artistry of Shin-ichi Fukuda, who clearly loves this music and, in fact, has known and worked with many of the composers. He is clearly a major guitarist, not just in Japan but on the global scene. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Kenneth Keaton
American Record Guide, July 2016

…there’s much to enjoy and discover here, and Fukuda plays with consistently high artistry and a thorough technical command. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2016

A collection of music composed in the last forty-six years points to the present popularity of the classical guitar in Japan, though its history dates back decades. In its present guise it became known in the mid-19th century when Western culture arrived in Japan, and this in turn led to a dynasty of outstanding guitarists, the multi-award winning, Shin-ichi Fukuda, being one of today’s ambassadors of Japanese music for the instrument. The disc opens with the familiar name of Toru Takemitsu and his guitar arrangement of Akira Nakada’s A Song of Early Spring. From therein the disc offers some little known works, Hiroshi Hara’s Canto funebre, described as ‘a song as a funeral prayer’, its outgoing decorative filigree seeming at odds with its title. Among the Japanese composers working in the second half of the 20th century, Akira Miyoshi was one who embraced influences that flowed down from the Second Viennese School, though the Cinq Poemes does at times occupy a more tuneful world. The disc’s most recent composition comes from Shin-ichiro Ikebe with the 2007 A Guitar Bears and She Keeps Hoping. What that title means the sleeve note does not explain, the work coming from a highly prolific composer in every genre of classical music. That includes many film scores, the Theme of Katja taken from the 2003 film, Spy Sorge, and is in a style largely descended from mainstream 19th century Western music, Katja being the innocent wife of the true-life spy, Richard Sorge. Finally to avant garde modernism with two works by Toshio Hosokawa. Throughout the disc there is little to display Fukuda’s enviable technique, the music mostly quiet and more often than not slow moving. Exceptionally good sound quality. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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