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Joe Hisaishi|Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi

Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi

Joe Hisaishi

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Over the course of nearly four decades, Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi crafted some of the most beloved film scores of all time. Best known as the signature sound behind Hayao Miyazaki's beloved Studio Ghibli animated movies, he also formed an extensive collaborative bond with actor/director Takeshi Kitano. The greatest hits from those partnerships are collected on this fantastic primer to his career, Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi. Split between selections backed by the London Symphony Orchestra and his own solo piano interpretations, the 28 tracks on the compilation are full of nostalgia, wonder, and childlike innocence. From the whimsy of Kiki's Delivery Service to the grand sweep of Princess Mononoke, Hisaishi's memorable melodies became an indelible part of Miyazaki's world, as vital to the oeuvre's aesthetic as John Williams is to timeless fantasy and sci-fi franchises. Many of the Miyazaki/Ghibli heavy-hitters are represented here, starting with "Fantasia" from 1984's Nausicaa all the way to 2013's joyous "Procession of Celestial Beings" from The Tale of Princess Kaguya. In between, his Ghibli golden era transports listeners to the worlds of My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Porco Rosso, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. With every twinkle of the piano keys, those worlds sparkle to life in magical fashion. Presented side by side in this comprehensive greatest-hits package, they're a testament to Hisaishi's indisputable place in the Ghibli universe. In addition to those favorites, Dream Songs also collects tracks from Hisaishi's many Kitano collaborations, including the lush, violin-backed "Silent Love" from 1992's A Scene at the Sea, the dramatic title theme from 1997's Hana-Bi, and "Summer" from 1999's Kikujiro. Additional notable songs include the main theme from 2008's Oscar-winning Departures, the swelling "Asian Dream Song," and his 2004 solo original, "Oriental Wind." For longtime devotees, Dream Songs is an ideal way to hear the best of the best from Hisaishi's catalog; for new fans, it's a wondrous first step into a realm that comforts, transports, and sparks the imagination like no other.

© Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo

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Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi

Joe Hisaishi

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1
One Summer's Day (from 'Spirited Away')
Joe Hisaishi
00:04:02

London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra/Member, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Roman Simovic, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2010 UNIVERSAL SIGMA, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

2
Kiki's Delivery Service (from 'Kiki's Delivery Service')
Joe Hisaishi
00:04:31

London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra/Member, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Roman Simovic, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2010 UNIVERSAL SIGMA, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

3
Summer (from 'Kikujiro')
Joe Hisaishi
00:04:04

London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra/Member, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Roman Simovic, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2010 UNIVERSAL SIGMA, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

4
Porco Rosso: il porco rosso (Live)
Joe Hisaishi
00:01:54

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - YASUSHI TOYOSHIMA, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer - New Japan Philharmonic World Dream Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2016 UNIVERSAL SIGMA, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

5
Porco Rosso: Madness (Live)
Joe Hisaishi
00:04:13

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - YASUSHI TOYOSHIMA, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer - New Japan Philharmonic World Dream Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2016 UNIVERSAL SIGMA, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

6
Water Traveller (from 'Water Traveler - Samurai Kids')
Joe Hisaishi
00:08:20

London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra/Member, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Recording Arranger, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Roman Simovic, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2010 UNIVERSAL SIGMA, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

7
Oriental Wind
Joe Hisaishi
00:05:30

London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra/Member, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Roman Simovic, Orchestra Contractor, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2010 UNIVERSAL SIGMA, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

8
Silent Love (from 'A Scene at the Sea')
Joe Hisaishi
00:06:29

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Junko Hirotani, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1991 Wonderland Records

9
Departures (from 'Departures')
Joe Hisaishi
00:08:19

London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra/Member, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Arranger, Piano, Orchestra Contractor, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Roman Simovic, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2010 UNIVERSAL SIGMA, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

10
"PRINCESS MONONOKE" Suite (from 'Princess Mononoke' / Live)
Joe Hisaishi
00:08:32

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - New Japan Philharmonic World Dream Orchestra, Orchestra/Member, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2006 UNIVERSAL SIGMA, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

11
The Procession of Celestial Beings (from 'The Tale of Princess Kaguya')
Joe Hisaishi
00:02:47

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, MainArtist

℗ 2014 UNIVERSAL SIGMA, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

12
My Neighbour TOTORO (from 'My Neighbor Totoro')
Joe Hisaishi
00:04:07

London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra/Member, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Hayao Miyazaki, Author - Roman Simovic, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2010 UNIVERSAL SIGMA, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

DISC 2

1
Ballade (from 'BROTHER')
Joe Hisaishi
00:04:20

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Masayoshi Okawa, Producer

℗ 2002 UNIVERSAL J, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

2
KIDS RETURN (from 'Kids Return')
Joe Hisaishi Ensemble
00:04:22

Nick Holland, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Alexander Balanescu, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Pitsillides, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Momoko Kamiya, Marimba, AssociatedPerformer - Thomas Pilz, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Jun Sato, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Marie Oishi, Percussion, Marimba, AssociatedPerformer - Hirofumi Kinjo, Woodwinds, AssociatedPerformer - Masamiki Takano, Woodwinds, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Hisaishi Ensemble, MainArtist

℗ 2000 UNIVERSAL J, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

3
Asian Dream Song
Joe Hisaishi
00:05:30

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Pan Strings, Strings, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1996 UNIVERSAL J, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

4
Birthday
Joe Hisaishi
00:04:16

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Melodica, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Masayoshi Furukawa, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Hiroyuki Koike Strings, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Koji Kyotani, Bandoneon, AssociatedPerformer - Yasue Sawako, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2005 UNIVERSAL SIGMA, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

5
Innocent (from 'Castle in the Sky')
Joe Hisaishi
00:02:32

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1988 Wonderland Records

6
Fantasia (for NAUSICAÄ) (from 'NAUSICAÄ of the Valley of the Wind')
Joe Hisaishi
00:06:56

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1988 Wonderland Records

7
HANA-BI (from 'HANA-BI')
Joe Hisaishi
00:03:26

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Masayoshi Okawa, Producer

℗ 2002 UNIVERSAL J, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

8
The Wind Forest (from 'My Neighbor Totoro')
Joe Hisaishi
00:04:54

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Hayao Miyazaki, Author

℗ 1988 Wonderland Records

9
Angel Springs
Joe Hisaishi
00:03:14

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Pan Strings, Strings, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1996 UNIVERSAL J, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

10
Nostalgia
Joe Hisaishi
00:03:32

Renato Serio, Orchestra Contractor, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Orchestra Città di Ferrara, Orchestra/Member, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nobuo Yagi, Harmonica, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1998 UNIVERSAL J, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

11
Spring
Joe Hisaishi
00:02:51

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Melodica, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Myriam Pelletier, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Angèle Dubeau, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Masayoshi Furukawa, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gwendolyn Smith, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Koji Kyotani, Bandoneon, AssociatedPerformer - Emilie Pare, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Natalia Kononova, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Natacha Gauthier, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Marilou Robitaille, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Anne-Marie Leblanc, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Mariane Charlebois-Deschamps, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Yasue Sawako, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2005 UNIVERSAL SIGMA, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

12
The Wind of Life
Joe Hisaishi
00:04:44

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1996 UNIVERSAL J, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

13
アシタカとサン (from 'Princess Mononoke')
Joe Hisaishi
00:03:56

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Masayoshi Okawa, Producer

℗ 2002 UNIVERSAL J, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

14
Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (from 'Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea')
Joe Hisaishi
00:02:49

Ludovit Kanta, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Igor Spallati, Upright Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Momoko Kamiya, Percussion, Marimba, AssociatedPerformer - Yumiko Morooka, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Nobuo Furukawa, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Akina Karasawa, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Yuko Taguchi, Harp, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Dupuy, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Mikio Unno, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Eiichiro Nakada, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Mikiko Mimori, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Shigeo Horiuchi, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Eiko Onuki, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Takayoshi Sakurai, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Keiko Daito, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Reiko Komatu, Percussion, Marimba, AssociatedPerformer - Micol Picchioni, Harp, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 UNIVERSAL SIGMA, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

15
Cinema Nostalgia
Joe Hisaishi
00:06:08

Renato Serio, Orchestra Contractor, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Orchestra Città di Ferrara, Orchestra/Member, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1998 UNIVERSAL J, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

16
Merry-Go-Round of Life (from 'Howl's Moving Castle')
Joe Hisaishi
00:05:09

Joe Hisaishi, Composer, Producer, Piano, Melodica, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Myriam Pelletier, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Angèle Dubeau, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Masayoshi Furukawa, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gwendolyn Smith, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Koji Kyotani, Bandoneon, AssociatedPerformer - Emilie Pare, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Natalia Kononova, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Natacha Gauthier, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Marilou Robitaille, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Anne-Marie Leblanc, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Mariane Charlebois-Deschamps, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Yasue Sawako, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2005 UNIVERSAL SIGMA, a division of UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

Album review

Over the course of nearly four decades, Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi crafted some of the most beloved film scores of all time. Best known as the signature sound behind Hayao Miyazaki's beloved Studio Ghibli animated movies, he also formed an extensive collaborative bond with actor/director Takeshi Kitano. The greatest hits from those partnerships are collected on this fantastic primer to his career, Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi. Split between selections backed by the London Symphony Orchestra and his own solo piano interpretations, the 28 tracks on the compilation are full of nostalgia, wonder, and childlike innocence. From the whimsy of Kiki's Delivery Service to the grand sweep of Princess Mononoke, Hisaishi's memorable melodies became an indelible part of Miyazaki's world, as vital to the oeuvre's aesthetic as John Williams is to timeless fantasy and sci-fi franchises. Many of the Miyazaki/Ghibli heavy-hitters are represented here, starting with "Fantasia" from 1984's Nausicaa all the way to 2013's joyous "Procession of Celestial Beings" from The Tale of Princess Kaguya. In between, his Ghibli golden era transports listeners to the worlds of My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Porco Rosso, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. With every twinkle of the piano keys, those worlds sparkle to life in magical fashion. Presented side by side in this comprehensive greatest-hits package, they're a testament to Hisaishi's indisputable place in the Ghibli universe. In addition to those favorites, Dream Songs also collects tracks from Hisaishi's many Kitano collaborations, including the lush, violin-backed "Silent Love" from 1992's A Scene at the Sea, the dramatic title theme from 1997's Hana-Bi, and "Summer" from 1999's Kikujiro. Additional notable songs include the main theme from 2008's Oscar-winning Departures, the swelling "Asian Dream Song," and his 2004 solo original, "Oriental Wind." For longtime devotees, Dream Songs is an ideal way to hear the best of the best from Hisaishi's catalog; for new fans, it's a wondrous first step into a realm that comforts, transports, and sparks the imagination like no other.

© Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo

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