CD - Hana wa Saku / 花は咲く

The wonderful orchestrations created for these songs, which were originally written with piano accompaniment, lifts them to a whole new level and as such it is hoped that they will appeal to a much wider audience.”
歌とピアノ伴奏のために書かれたこれらの曲が、オーケストラ伴奏のための素晴らしい編曲に生まれ変わったことによって、一層素晴らしさを増し、より多くの皆様に聴いていただけることを心より願っております。

My Introduction to the delights of Japanese song happened during my first visit to Japan in 1991. I learnt Karatachi no hana (Quince flower) by Yohasaku Yamada as an encore piece, after I was invited to give a couple of small concerts in Kyushu and Tokyo. The delighted reaction that I got from the audience, because I had gone to the trouble of learning one of their best-known songs in their language, was heart-warming. As such it led me to undertake further exploration of this repertoire, which comprises songs set in a Western-style manner using their most famous poems. This meant I discovered the joys of kakyoku - their version of art song and of dou-you - a kind of traditional song.


Here arrives an album standing as successor to Charlotte de Rothschild's first CD of Japanese songs made for Nimbus in 1999. That disc was called "A Japanese Journey" and was for soprano voice and piano played by Masahiro Saitoh (NI6190). This new disc is a further helping, this time of nineteen songs but in orchestral dress. The title means Flowers will bloom. The original spark came as a result of Charlotte de Rothschild's first visit to Japan in 1991. She had learnt the song Quince Flower as an encore and sang it in Japanese. Such was the welcome she received that her interest deepened into both kakyoku (art songs) and dou-you (traditional songs).

Ms de Rothschild points out that in Japan the poet is more important than the composer and is always listed first. However she also states that the music of classical composers such as Ikuma Dan, Kozaburo Hirai, Kohsaku Yamada and Yoshinao Nakata merit greater exposure.

The booklet is nicely done and notes that the orchestrations are variously by David Matthews (eight songs), Stuart Calvert and Yui Kakinuma. These orchestrations should help the songs travel. The intended reception for this disc is indicated by the fact that the liner-notes are in English and in Japanese characters. The sung words are also given, apparently in full, in Japanese characters (Kana) and with detailed thoughtful synoptic translations into English by the singer.

If one were to cast around for a criticism it would be that Westerners would also appreciate a third column of translation where the sung Japanese is rendered in phonetically-styled Western transliteration.

Akatonbo is a sentimental Quilter-like song with a touch of The salley gardens about it. Its warm and almost Edwardian ambience takes it close to lush Graingerism. There's a tendency towards the slow-paced mournfully lachrymose - a sort of Russian sentimentality of the sort done so well by Hvorostovsky. The first two songs do not feel especially Japanese. Narayama's fragile beauty mingles tears and love. The Barber Shop is truly jaunty and very welcome. The image of the King Crab's barber shop is worthy of Maurice Sendak with the over-excited crab chopping off the ear of a rabbit customer. The orchestration picks up on the clacking of the crab claws. It's superbly done.

The Spring Songs are sweetly rocking and sentimental, often slow and very beautiful. They end with a fine example looking forward to a full and voluptuous harvest. Chin chin chidori (Little plovers) mines a vein of sweetness discovered in sorrow. Sakura yoko cho (tr. 11) hymns the cherry trees fully laden with blossom which in turn call to mind memories of lost lovers and friends. Hana wa saku (Flowers will bloom) is very recent in origin. It's a song of hope and remembrance written in the wake of the March 2011 tsunami: the flowers bloom for those many who died and those yet to be born. One wonders about other classical compositions by Japanese composer marking the Tsunami. They are perhaps as numerous as those whose origins can be traced back to disasters of human intervention: 9/11 and beyond that to various atrocities (Lidice - Martin? and Alan Bush) and The Titanic.

Natsu no omoide (When summer comes) exudes a sickness for home - here Oze 'under a distant sky' (tr. 13). Tampopo (Dandelions) stands out for its lissom sing-song melody. It has a spirit paralleling A.E. Housman: how many more dandelion springs will the poet experience? Jogashima no ame is a miniature of the shore of Jogashima with heavy rain providing the backdrop. The words express a grey melancholy ecstasy as the fisherman-lover departs and his boat disappears into the mist. Near its end there's an uncharacteristic burst of happiness and then a fading away. Ta-anki Po-onki portrays a crow pecking at an optimistic but ill-fated pond snail. The pecking motion is innocently rendered by the orchestra. It's rather like the clacking claw sounds in the charming crab barber song (tr. 4). Akikaze yo has the Russian shiver of an autumnal wind and with it the falling of yellow leaves. Karamatsu (Deciduous pine) is a triumph of unhurried sentiment. It's actually quite Puccinian. Many of these delicate songs inhabit a genre not that distant from Novello and even Lehár.

The orchestra is the City of London Sinfonia, for years associated with the conductor Richard Hickox. Here it is graciously directed by another Chandos artist, the clarinettist Michael Collins.

This is a project well put together and carried through with polish, taste and freshness.

Rob Barnett


A couple of 5 star Amazon reviews:

"I bought it yesterday and listened to it last night. It is has become my favorite of her CDs. She has an amazing voice with many various in the tones from highs to lows! This CD is a must have!" Amazon

"I thoroughly enjoyed listening and relistening to this CD" Amazon


Contents
  • Akatonbo (Red Dragonfly)
  • Kirito Hanashita (Talking with the Mist)
  • Narayama Nara (Mountain)
  • Awate Toko Ya (Barber Shop)
  • Haru (Spring)
  • Kaze Ni Yosete Utaeru Haru No Uta (Four Spring Wind Songs)
  • Chin Chin Chidori (When Little Plovers Sing at Night)
  • Sakura Yoko Cho (Cherry Alley)
  • Hana Wa Saku (Flowers Will Bloom)
  • Natsu No Omoide (When Summer Comes)
  • Karatachi No Hana (Quince Flower)
  • Tampopo (Dandelions)
  • Jogashima No Ame (Rain in Jogashima)
  • Ta-Anki Po-Onki (Pond Snail)
  • Akikaze Yo (My Autumn Wind)
  • Karamatsu (Deciduous Pine)

私が日本の歌曲の素晴らしさと出会ったのは、1991年に初めて日本を訪問した時でした。九州と東京でいくつかの小さなコンサートを依頼された際、アンコール曲に山田耕筰の「からたちの花」を選んだのです。よく知られた日本語の歌を私が学んだことを、観客の皆様が本当に喜んでくださったことに、とても心が温かくなりました。このことがきっかけで、有名な日本の詩に西洋的な音楽が付けられた、日本歌曲のレパートリーに取り組むことになりました。このようにして、私は「歌曲」―日本で芸術的な歌とされているもの―と、童謡―伝統的な歌のようなもの―と出会ったのです。

幼稚園などで、日本の子どもたちは必ず「赤とんぼ」を習います。これは、日本の宝であり、その詩は日本の人々の魂に語りかけるのです。今回レコーディングした中で最も新しい曲が「花は咲く」ですが、この曲は2011年の恐ろしい地震と津波の後に悲しみと希望の意味を込めて書かれた曲で、新しくとも、同じように日本の人々の心に共鳴する曲です。

人口のほとんどが都会に住んでいる現在の日本ですが、日本の人々は皆、自然や田舎、四季の移り変わりをとても大事にしています。このCDに録音した曲は全て、その愛と感情を反映しています。日本の人々は、作曲者よりも作詞家が重要な意味を持っていると考えることが多いようです。そのため、西洋で私たちがするように曲名の後に作曲家の名前を表記するのではなく、作詞家がまず先に挙げられます。ただし、クラシック音楽というジャンルにおいては、山田耕筰、中田喜直、團伊玖磨、そして平井康三郎などの作曲家はもっと評価されても良いのではと私は思っています。

歌とピアノ伴奏のために書かれたこれらの曲が、オーケストラ伴奏のための素晴らしい編曲に生まれ変わったことによって、一層素晴らしさを増し、より多くの皆様に聴いていただけることを心より願っております。

シャーロット・ド・ロスチャイルド


花は咲く

シャーロット・ド・ロスチャイルド(ソプラノ)

マイケル・コリンズ(指揮)

シティ・オブ・ロンドン・シンフォニア

コンサートマスター マーティン・バージェス

コンサートミストレス ケイシー・シェイブ

作詞 作曲

1.赤とんぼ三木露風山田耕筰 3.44
2. 霧と話した鎌田忠良中田喜直 4.11
3. 平城山北見志保子平井康三郎2.52
4. あわて床屋北原白秋 山田耕筰 3.33
(岩河智子編曲)
5. はる 谷川俊太郎團伊玖磨2.43
~風に寄せてうたへる春のうた~
6.青き臥床をわれ飾る三木露風山田耕筰 1.58
7.君がため織る綾錦 三木露風山田耕筰 2.12
8.光にふるひ 日に舞へる三木露風山田耕筰2.18
9.たたへよ、しらべよ、歌ひつれよ三木露風山田耕筰1.54
10. ちんちん千鳥北原白秋近衛秀麿 2.48
11. さくら横ちょう加藤周一中田喜直3.16
12. 花は咲く岩井俊二菅野よう子6.03
13. 夏の思い出江間章子中田喜直3.00
14. からたちの花 北原白秋山田耕筰3.02
15. たんぽぽ三好達治中田喜直2.03
16.城ヶ島の雨   北原白秋山田耕筰4.17
17.たあんき ぽーんき山村暮鳥中田喜直2.07
18.秋風よ堀内幸枝中田喜直2.30
19.落葉松野上 彰  小林秀雄5.30

オーケストレーション:

デイビッド・マシューズ — トラック2,3,5,10,11,15,17,18

柿沼唯 — トラック 1, 6-9,16

スチュアート・カルヴァト — トラック 4, 12, 13, 14, 19

このCDは、岩永照子氏の寛大なご支援により制作可能となりました。

表 紙:「花 ふ ぶ き 」 2007 石 踊 達 哉


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Hana wa Saku

The wonderful orchestrations created for these songs, which were originally written with piano accompaniment, lifts them to a whole new level and as such it is hoped that they will appeal to a much wider audience.”

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