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Ifukube: Sinfonia Tapkaara, Etc / Yablonsky, Russian Po


Release Date: 10/18/2005 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557587   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Akira Ifukube
Performer:  Ekaterina Saranceva
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Akira Ifukube (b. 1914) is best known as the composer of the scores to the various Godzilla films. His Symphonic Fantasia No. 1 is in fact an arrangement of themes from the various monster movies, and a very skillful one. Ifukube's style takes its inspiration from Stravinsky and the French neo-classicists (such as Roussel), and from nationalist composers of the same period such as Falla. Folk-tinged melodies mingle with bracing passages full of driving, syncopated rhythms. Sinfonia Tapkaara, for example, has much in common with the sound of Portuguese composer Joly Braga Santos (if you've been following that series on Marco Polo, compare the finale to the last two movements of Santos' Divertimento No. 1). Its slow movement features a lovely Read more tune that begins like the Romance from Prokofiev's Lt. Kijé. Ritmica Ostinata for piano and orchestra sounds like a continuation of Colin McPhee's Tabuh-Tabuhan, with its Asian-influenced ostinatos and minimalist aesthetic. Original it may not be, but it's tremendous fun, very well-written, and though drawing on familiar elements, the mix is Ifukube's own.


King Records in Japan has issued a series of discs devoted to Ifukube's works in various media. These are not easy to find here, and ordering them from Japanese sources is quite expensive. That makes this Naxos disc especially welcome. The performances are all very good ones, full of the necessary driving energy, and Dmitry Yablonsky has his ensemble in good shape. In Ritmica Ostinata, pianist Ekaterina Saranceva does a particularly fine job with a part that requires lots of endurance and a sharp rhythmic sense. The engineering also balances the solo instrument correctly, as a leading voice embedded within the orchestral textures rather than front and center at all times. This is the kind of disc that really deserves popular success beyond the usual classical music crowd, and Naxos might do well to invest some time and effort in making more of Ifukube's concert pieces available. They could have a genuine hit on their hands.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Sinfonia Tapkaara by Akira Ifukube
Performer:  Ekaterina Saranceva (Piano)
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  Studio 5, State Broadcasting, Moscow, Ru 
Length: 25 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Notes: Studio 5, State Broadcasting, Moscow, Russia (05/03/2004 - 05/12/2004)
Composition written: 1954 - 1979. 
2. Ritmica ostinata for Piano and Orchestra by Akira Ifukube
Performer:  Ekaterina Saranceva (Piano)
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Japan 
Venue:  Studio 5, State Broadcasting, Moscow, Ru 
Length: 21 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Notes: Studio 5, State Broadcasting, Moscow, Russia (05/03/2004 - 05/12/2004)
Composition written: Japan (1961 - 1972). 
3. Symphonic Fantasia no 1 by Akira Ifukube
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1983; Japan 
Venue:  Studio 5, State Broadcasting, Moscow, Ru 
Length: 13 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: Studio 5, State Broadcasting, Moscow, Russia (05/03/2004 - 05/12/2004) 

Sound Samples

Sinfonia Tapkaara: Lento molto - Allegro
Sinfonia Tapkaara: Adagio
Sinfonia Tapkaara: Vivace
Ritmica Ostinata
Symphonic Fantasia No. 1

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