Kuniko Kato – Cantus (2013) MCH SACD ISO

Kuniko Kato – Cantus (2013)
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 / 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 51:40 minutes | 2,73 GB
Genre: Classical, Contemporary, Percussion | Publisher (label): Linn Records CKD 432

KUNIKO’s eagerly awaited 2nd album includes world premiere recordings of the percussionist’s new arrangements of popular works by contemporary composers Arvo Pдrt, Steve Reich & Hywel Davies. Great in Mch.. Recorded in Japan to 24bit/192kHz.

The pieces are arranged for 5 octave marimba or vibraphone & each was chosen to fully demonstrate the colours, depth & dynamics of the instrument. KUNIKO gave the world premiere performance of Reich’s New York Counterpoint version for marimba in New York in 2012. KUNIKO won praise from the composer himself who stated: ‘Kuniko Kato is a 1st rate percussionist’. The simplicity & beauty of Arvo Pдrt’s music has won the composer many fans. In turn Pдrt is a fan of KUNIKO’s arrangements having approved the new versions premiered on this album. KUNIKO has arranged 4 of his best-loved pieces including Cantus, a fitting tribute to Benjamin Britten in 2013, his 100th anniversary year. Purl Ground is an original piece written by British composer Hywel Davies, which KUNIKO premiered at the Cheltenham Festival in 2011 to critical acclaim. The piece is arranged for solo marimba & makes excellent use of both tremolo & pianissimo effects.

Kuniko Kato, who goes by the single name Kuniko, is an emerging Japanese marimba & vibraphone virtuosa who stirred up considerable attention with her 2011 release ‘kuniko plays reich’. Cantus, which is curiously named, expands on the transcription ideas developed for the earlier release. Kuniko sets out to expand the sonic vocabulary of her percussion instruments through the use of various mallets & strike techniques. This is an extremely intriguing idea, for latter-day developments in minimalist music have involved experiments with extending its range without losing its basic aesthetic. Kuniko thus hits a certain sweet spot, & it’s no surprise to learn that all 3 of the composers featured here — Arvo Pдrt, Reich once again, & British minimalist Hywel Davies — supervised & approved of Kuniko’s arrangements. At times it is hard to believe you’re hearing just a single marimba (additional instruments, all played by Kuniko, appear on only 3 pieces). In Reich’s New York Counterpoint the marimba emits eerily clarinet-like sounds. But perhaps the strongest performances are those of Pдrt’s music, where Kuniko keeps the sounds a bit simpler & lets the instrument flower into the resonances that are at the heart of the composer’s brand of minimalism. It is no wonder the elderly Pдrt liked these renditions, which extend his language in a totally ingenious & musical way. The final Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in Mirror) is haunting, & the entire album is essential listening for anyone with the slightest interest in contemporary percussion.


1. Für Alina (1976/2012) For Vibraphone & Crotales 4:00
Arranged By – Kuniko Kato
Composed By – Arvo Pärt

2. New York Counterpoint (1985/2012) Version For Marimba 11:14
Arranged By – Kuniko Kato
Composed By – Steve Reich

3. Cantus In Memory Of Benjamin Britten (1977/2012) For Marimba 6:27
Arranged By – Kuniko Kato
Composed By – Arvo Pärt

4. Fratres (1977/2012) For Marimba & Vibraphone 8:10
Arranged By – Kuniko Kato
Composed By – Arvo Pärt

5. Purl Ground (2003) 11:24
Composed By – Hywel Davies

6. Spiegel Im Spiegel (1978/2012) For Marimba And Bells 10:25
Arranged By – Kuniko Kato
Composed By – Arvo Pärt




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