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I heart Japan

I adore my friends in Tokyo–they are so bloody on top of things. Within a week or so after the Tokyo Kosei premiere of Climbing Parnassus, I received a CD in the mail. And Holy Honshu, Batman, what a performance. Here is the streaming audio to prove it:

Climbing Parnassus: Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, conducted by Kazufumi YAMASHITA

In 2 bullet points, here’s what I love about this performance…

• The fact that it is so relaxed in tempo, it runs almost about a minute or two longer than any previous duration. Which I read as a sort of reveling in the sound of the thing and not wanting it to end. Yes, I’m allowed to think that.

• The 15 seconds of silence after the piece is over (!) before anyone applauds. The audience was either stunned into silence, or incredibly respectful, and I choose to believe it’s a little bit of both.

The musicality of Tokyo Kosei is so remarkable that I’m basically humbled into having nothing to add about this. So now I am left with the question of which recording best represents the work…the one above, or the premiere by the JWECC Festival Ensemble from the Conference in Kurashiki (and I’m soliciting comments to that end).

It’s not really a choice. They’re both too good.

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