Marie Kobayashi, Claude Delangle, Jean Geoffroy Japanese Love Songs

Japanese Love Songs

Marie Kobayashi, Claude Delangle, Jean Geoffroy

Paru le 1 janvier 2009 chez BIS

Artiste principal : Marie Kobayashi

Genre : Classique > Musique vocale profane

Inclus : 1 Livret numérique

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BIS' Japanese Love Songs is one of the strangest recordings issued under the eminent Swedish label's imprimatur, with all of its 11 works scored for no more than mezzo-soprano (Marie Kobayashi), saxophone (provided by Claude DeLangle), and percussionist Jean Geoffroy. That's because the disc is only part of the story; this entire program was done as a performance at the Museum of the Asiatic Arts in Nice, incorporating poetry readings -- only one poem is retained -- and butoh dancing by Yumi Fujitani, naturally not included. What visual representation of the program included is of no use at all, it's just two very dark color shots of the artists in silhouette and nothing inside the booklet. The program, however, is very interesting, with works by Japanese composers of the younger generation Masakazu Natsuda and Fuminori Tanada; a somewhat older group represented by Toshio Hosokawa; Ryo Noda and Ishiro Nodaira; and finally the departed master Akira Ifukube, whose Three Ecologues after Epos Among Ainu Races (1956) are threaded throughout the show. Additionally, there are pieces included by Hacène Larbi and Bertrand Doubedout, French composers who have enjoyed long professional ties to Japan. Ifukube's song cycle has a strong relationship to Japanese folk traditions, being scored only for voice and percussion, and each piece in the cycle dramatically stands out from anything that's around it. The works of all three "somewhat older" Japanese composers betray the influence of Anton Webern and are difficult to distinguish from one another apart from Noda's Improvisation 1 (1972-1973), a saxophone solo that collides the language of Webern with the tonal quality of, say, Paul Desmond. Boulez fever also infects the French composers, whose works are the least interesting things here. Natsuda's Two Poems by Ryokan (2005) is also couched in the language of Webern, perhaps even more so than the others, except that it's realized very well within that strain of endeavor and, at times, appears to be breaking loose from its echt-Viennese moorings. Tanada's Duo for mezzo-soprano and soprano saxophone (2006), however, is terrific, a piece that pushes both the sax and voice to their limits with special sounds that make a successful attempt to both contrast and unite such qualities; it is trippy in a way one wishes the whole album was. Nothing against the performers: Kobayashi's voice is a genuinely beautiful instrument, low-key, flexible, controlled, and never overdoing it with the vibrato in order to gain power and heft. DeLangle's soprano saxophone is so pure in tone that at times it sounds like a flute, and Geoffroy handles the scant use of percussion to accompany Kobayashi's poetic recitation from Toson Shimazaki's "Kimi Ha Kokoro Wa" with deft understatement. However, the theme of love is represented in anything but a lovely way and what you get in its stead is a lot of gestures and gestalt. The essential problem with BIS' Japanese Love Songs is that this is the kind of performance you get when a French Arts organization commissions Japanese art primarily from French artists and Japanese composers educated in Europe; something that sounds more European than Japanese. It would have been a great deal better had it been a video rather than a CD, as the butoh dancer would have put it all in perspective; on its own, it can only be said that BIS' Japanese Love Songs, despite the noble effort from its performers, is not as advertised.
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Album : 1 disque - 15 pistes Durée totale : 01:22:01

    Two Poems by Ryokan, for mezzo-soprano, soprano/tenor saxophone & percussion (2005) (Masakazu Natsuda)
  1. 1 No. 1. Awayuki no… (Light Snow)

    Marie Kobayashi, Mezzo-soprano - Claude Delangle, Soprano/Tenor Saxophone - Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy, Percussion - Masakazu Natsuda (b.1968), Composer - Ryokan, or Yamamoto Eizo (1758-1831), Texts Copyright : © 2008 BIS - ℗ 2008 BIS

  2. 2 Interlude (Instrumental)

    Claude Delangle, Soprano/Tenor Saxophone - Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy, Percussion - Masakazu Natsuda (b.1968), Composer Copyright : © 2008 BIS - ℗ 2008 BIS

  3. 3 No. 2. Yume no yoni (Like A Dream)

    Marie Kobayashi, Mezzo-Soprano - Claude Delangle, Soprano/Tenor saxophone - Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy, Percussion - Masakazu Natsuda (b.1968), Composer - Ryokan, or Yamamoto Eizo (1758-1831), Texts Copyright : © 2008 BIS - ℗ 2008 BIS

  4. Three Love Songs, for mezzo-soprano & alto saxophone (2004) (Toshio Hosokawa)
  5. 4 No. 1. Kurai michi (A Dark Road)

    Marie Kobayashi, Mezzo-Soprano - Claude Delangle, Alto Saxophone - Toshio Hosokawa (b.1955), Composer - Isumi Shikibu (b.976 ?), Lyricist Copyright : © 2008 BIS - ℗ 2008 BIS

  6. 5 No. 2. Omoide (Memory)

    Marie Kobayashi, Mezzo-Soprano - Claude Delangle, Alto Saxophone - Toshio Hosokawa (b.1955), Composer - Isumi Shikibu (b.976 ?), Lyricist Copyright : © 2008 BIS - ℗ 2008 BIS

  7. 6 No. 3. Hotaru (Firefly)

    Marie Kobayashi, Mezzo-Soprano - Claude Delangle, Alto Saxophone - Toshio Hosokawa (b.1955), Composer - Isumi Shikibu (b.976 ?), Lyricist Copyright : © 2008 BIS - ℗ 2008 BIS

  8. Eclogues after Epos among Ainu Races, for voice & percussion (1956) (Akira Ifukube)
  9. 7 No. 1. Shine onne ekashi kor shinotcha (Song of an old woman)

    Marie Kobayashi, Mezzo-Soprano - Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy, Percussion - Akira Ifukube (1914-2006), Composer - Ainu traditional song (Text) Copyright : © 2008 BIS - ℗ 2008 BIS

  10. Duo for mezzo-soprano & soprano saxophone (2006) (Fuminori Tanada)
  11. 8 Duo

    Marie Kobayashi, Mezzo-Soprano - Claude Delangle, Soprano Saxophone - Fuminori Tanada (b.1961), Composer Copyright : © 2008 BIS - ℗ 2008 BIS

  12. Improvisation I for alto saxophone solo (1971-1973) (Ryo Noda)
  13. 9 Improvisation I

    Claude Delangle, alto Saxophone - Ryo Noda (b.1948), Composer Copyright : © 2008 BIS - ℗ 2008 BIS

  14. Eclogues after Epos among Ainu Races, for voice & percussion (1956) (Akira Ifukube)
  15. 10 No. 2. Yaishama ne na (Song of a bird dying in the Northern Sea)

    Marie Kobayashi, Mezzo-Soprano - Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy, Percussion - Akira Ifukube (1914-2006), Composer - Ainu traditional song (Text) Copyright : © 2008 BIS - ℗ 2008 BIS

  16. Dashu no sho (Ichiro Nodaira)
  17. 11 Dashu no sho (The Helmsman’s Book)

    Marie Kobayashi, Mezzo-Soprano - Claude Delangle, Alto Saxophone - Ichiro Nodaira (b.1953), Composer - Text adapted from a poem by Minoru Yoshioka (1919-1990) Copyright : © 2008 BIS - ℗ 2008 BIS

  18. Eclogues after Epos among Ainu Races, for voice & percussion (1956) (Akira Ifukube)
  19. 12 No. 3. Ku-taxkara kusu (Dancing song of a young girl and a witch)

    Marie Kobayashi, Mezzo-Soprano - Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy, Percussion - Akira Ifukube (1914-2006), Composer - Ainu traditional song (Text) Copyright : © 2008 BIS - ℗ 2008 BIS

  20. Matsukaze, for mezzo-soprano, soprano/tenor saxophone & percussion (2006) (Hacène Larbi)
  21. 13 Matsukaze (un Noh aujourd’hui)

    Marie Kobayashi, Mezzo-Soprano - Claude Delangle, Soprano/Tenor Saxophone - Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy, Percussion - Hacène Larbi (b.1956), Composer - Text : Anonymous poems from the imperial anthology "Kokinshu" completed in 920 Copyright : © 2008 BIS - ℗ 2008 BIS

  22. Ça va commencer, ça commence, for mezzo-soprano & soprano saxophone (2004) (Bertrand Dubedout)
  23. 14 Ça va commencer, ça commence

    Marie Kobayashi, Mezzo-Soprano - Claude Delangle, Soprano Saxophone - Bertrand Dubedout (b.1958), Composer - Text : Mikiro Sasaki, trans. Makiko Ueda & claude Mouchard Copyright : © 2008 BIS - ℗ 2008 BIS

  24. Kimi ga kokoro wa (Your Heart) (Toson Shimazaki)
  25. 15 Kimi ga kokoro wa (Your Heart)

    Marie Kobayashi, Voice - Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy, Percussion - Toson Shimazaki (1872-1943), Composer - Poem from "Wakanashu" (1897), recited with percussion accompaniment Copyright : © 2008 BIS - ℗ 2008 BIS

  • Descriptif de l'album
  • BIS' Japanese Love Songs is one of the strangest recordings issued under the eminent Swedish label's imprimatur, with all of its 11 works scored for no more than mezzo-soprano (Marie Kobayashi), saxophone (provided by Claude DeLangle), and percussionist Jean Geoffroy. That's because the disc is only part of the story; this entire program was done as a performance at the Museum of the Asiatic Arts in Nice, incorporating poetry readings -- only one poem is retained -- and butoh dancing by Yumi Fujitani, naturally not included. What visual representation of the program included is of no use at all, it's just two very dark color shots of the artists in silhouette and nothing inside the booklet. The program, however, is very interesting, with works by Japanese composers of the younger generation Masakazu Natsuda and Fuminori Tanada; a somewhat older group represented by Toshio Hosokawa; Ryo Noda and Ishiro Nodaira; and finally the departed master Akira Ifukube, whose Three Ecologues after Epos Among Ainu Races (1956) are threaded throughout the show. Additionally, there are pieces included by Hacène Larbi and Bertrand Doubedout, French composers who have enjoyed long professional ties to Japan. Ifukube's song cycle has a strong relationship to Japanese folk traditions, being scored only for voice and percussion, and each piece in the cycle dramatically stands out from anything that's around it. The works of all three "somewhat older" Japanese composers betray the influence of Anton Webern and are difficult to distinguish from one another apart from Noda's Improvisation 1 (1972-1973), a saxophone solo that collides the language of Webern with the tonal quality of, say, Paul Desmond. Boulez fever also infects the French composers, whose works are the least interesting things here. Natsuda's Two Poems by Ryokan (2005) is also couched in the language of Webern, perhaps even more so than the others, except that it's realized very well within that strain of endeavor and, at times, appears to be breaking loose from its echt-Viennese moorings. Tanada's Duo for mezzo-soprano and soprano saxophone (2006), however, is terrific, a piece that pushes both the sax and voice to their limits with special sounds that make a successful attempt to both contrast and unite such qualities; it is trippy in a way one wishes the whole album was. Nothing against the performers: Kobayashi's voice is a genuinely beautiful instrument, low-key, flexible, controlled, and never overdoing it with the vibrato in order to gain power and heft. DeLangle's soprano saxophone is so pure in tone that at times it sounds like a flute, and Geoffroy handles the scant use of percussion to accompany Kobayashi's poetic recitation from Toson Shimazaki's "Kimi Ha Kokoro Wa" with deft understatement. However, the theme of love is represented in anything but a lovely way and what you get in its stead is a lot of gestures and gestalt. The essential problem with BIS' Japanese Love Songs is that this is the kind of performance you get when a French Arts organization commissions Japanese art primarily from French artists and Japanese composers educated in Europe; something that sounds more European than Japanese. It would have been a great deal better had it been a video rather than a CD, as the butoh dancer would have put it all in perspective; on its own, it can only be said that BIS' Japanese Love Songs, despite the noble effort from its performers, is not as advertised.

Détails de l'enregistrement original :

Reecorded in December 2006 at the Studio of 'La Muse en Circuit', Paris, France

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