Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Song of the Seashore & Other
Genres: World Music, New Age, Pop, Classical
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Eastern Music for Western Listeners
M. Zembrowski | Milwaukee, WI | 02/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"From a musicology perspective, this CD would probably not be considered a good representation of traditional Japanese music. On that same note (no pun intended), it's really hard to fault it's efforts. James Galway is a brilliantly trained classical flautist (or flutist, depending on whom you ask) who on occassion has delved into - shall we say, lesser? - forms of music, ie pop songs arranged for studio orchestra and his solo flute stylings, that can barely be considered one step up from salon or elevator music. No one can fault his musicianship, but occassionally, listening to him can be akin to listening to a rock star past his (or her) prime doing stuff they really shouldn't be anymore. In this case, however, he has selected a number of extremely accessible Japanese folk songs and had them arranged so any listener can appreciate them. There is nothing showy in his playing, the orchestra never over-powers or overshadows the material, and the whole CD rarely reaches forte, or even mezzo-forte. It is excellent music for a drive in the country (with the window open only part-way, that is), or a lazy summer afternoon out on the deck, or a low-key dinner party. In fact, I have used it several times in all such occassions. And after (literally) years of occassional listening, it never seems to get old. From a man who clearly wants to be something more than just "background music", he has done a damn fine job of creating some exceptionally relaxing music here. In case you're turned off by the prices of the available copies here on Amazon, you might want to check out his more recent Japanese-themed CD "The Enchanted Forest" which is just as relaxing as this one, but utilizes electronic accompaniment, and as a result is more unique and varied, and probably easier to find."