Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

DVD review


Nederlands Dans Theater;
The Circle Ensemble cond. Maki Ishii
Arthaus 100 162 [PAL, 70 mins]

Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS  Amazon recommendations

The Japanese born composer Maki Ishii (b.1936) lives in Berlin and fuses European and traditional Japanese scales and rhythms in his music. I have enjoyed his Lost Sounds II for accordion and tape & Tango Prism, which distorts a familiar tango. Review

Here he combines traditional Gagaku court music, western percussion with Japanese drums, and woodwind instruments to extend the palate. It is an ambitious full-length ballet score, based on an ancient fairy-tale about a Moon Princess who lures suitors to their deaths, but with updated references - cars on stage to suggest materialism.

Princess Kaguyahime has long meditative scenes with oriental flutes & glockenspiel as the enchanting stranger who bewitches all men including the Emperor himself. There are fight and folk dance scenes in which percussion predominates. It begins with the composer conducting a mere wisp of practically inaudible sound, which grows very gradually to thunderous climaxes, the whole developing in two acts over a 70 min time span, running without a break.

Jiri Kylian's choreography is as inventive as readers who have followed my reviews of his work with Nederlands Dans Theater [about DVDs   Histoire du Soldat   L'enfant et les sortileges & Peter and the Wolf ]will expect.

The booklet is a great improvement upon some others from Arthaus, with comprehensive information about the ballet and its story, an explanation of Kylian's avoidance of traditional narrative structure, CVs of the composer, Nederlands Dans Theater and The Circle Ensemble. The 1994 production is supported by superb camera work and lighting of dancers and musicians, the sound is vivid and immediate - a feast for eyes and ears to See and Hear.

Peter Grahame Woolf

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.