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Kenneth Keaton
American Record Guide, March 2017

The most interesting works are the pieces by Hikaru Hayashi, two for guitar solo and two for the duo. Each stands out for sheer lyric beauty. I also found Takashi Yosuimatsu’s Forgetful Angel 2 fascinating for its exploration of sounds—the second movement has the pair playing temple bells and wind chimes.

…this is not music you’ll be able to hear often—and it’s unlikely that you’ll hear it played more beautifully. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2016

The third volume in Japanese Guitar Music covers works composed over the past fifty years, though guitar music in that part of world began many decades earlier. It is strange, the disc should then open not in Japan but in America with Summertime from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and the popular songs Secret Love and Over the Rainbow, arranged for the guitar by Toru Takemitsu. The booklet relates the cruel, sad story of the silent film, Hadaka no Shima, a mood made clear in the transcriptions by Daisuke Suzuki. It is here the harmonica of Yasuo Watani is introduced as a partnership with Shin-ichi Fukuda, and they continue into the next track, Song Book, the two instruments working very well in textures I have never previously encountered. Yoichi Togawa’s very challenging Tamayura, that at times sounds like a journey on an American train, and Jun-ichi Nihashi’s nostalgic-sounding Autumn Song completed last year, are works written for the performers on this disc. The most extensive score comes from Takashi Yoshimatsu, one of Japan’s celebrated composers writing in a Western style. What the meaning behind his Forgetful Angel II is not made clear in the programme notes, but it is often a pungent and abrasive score. Finally, a guitar adaptation of film music from Minoru Miki’s backdrop to the film In the Realm of Senses. In total, a more active and demanding programme than the previous series disc, the playing multi-coloured with many of the tracks in benchmark performances, the Canadian recording team adding superb sound. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

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