Best of 2013 Readers' Choice - The Washington Post: ‘Several people on my list are already getting copies [of this] insanely beautiful disc.' (Joshua Cheek)
Best Recording Award - 26th MPCJ Music Award (Music Pen Club Japan)
KUNIKO's debut kuniko plays reich was acclaimed by the media becoming Linn's bestselling album of 2011. Her follow up recording, cantus, features six pieces arranged for five octave marimba or vibraphone, each chosen to fully demonstrate the colours, depth and dynamics of the instrument. The arrangements and recording have been made with supervision by the original composers: Arvo Pärt, Steve Reich and Hywel Davies.
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 first rate percussionist.'
The simplicity and beauty of Arvo Pärt's music has won the composer many fans. In turn Pärt is a fan of KUNIKO's arrangements having approved the new versions premiered on this album. KUNIKO has arranged four 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 and makes excellent use of both tremolo and pianissimo effects.
View the booklet in full here.
American Record Guide
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'This exquisite-sounding program offers compelling transcriptions of his Für Alina as well as the Cantus and the unforgettable Fratres.'more >>Classical Ear
'The recording, as we have come to expect from Linn Records, is first class.'more >>Audiophile.no
‘[If] Are you open to exploring new musical terrain, there's no reason to let this opportunity pass, with its innovative sound in many channels. Carpe Diem!’more >>International Record Review
'...this thoroughly engaging, fastidiously produced recording casts the marimba in an entirely new light.'more >>Gramophone
‘The most convincing moment is reserved for Reich. New York Counterpoint continues where ‘Kuniko Plays reich’ left off.’more >>Baker & Taylor CD Hot List
'...masterful transcription...'more >>All About Jazz
'As striking as the music is, the spectre of Kuniko in flight is equally striking from her athletically efficient performance to her precise and exquisite presence: a total artistic package, shining with grace and brilliance.'more >>Facts & Arts
'Renowned Japanese percussionist Kuniko Kato makes stunning music from the simplest of instruments, stretching their sonorities to heights never previously heard on record.'more >>Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
'This is one stunning album. Kuniko is a phenomenon and she makes the music her own in sonically moving ways. Excellent!'more >>La Scena Musicale
CD of the Week: '...outstanding. Why can't all records sound this good?'more >>AllMusic.com
'... the entire album is essential listening...'more >>Infodad
‘Kuniko’s arrangements are attractive, and she certainly plays them well…’more >>SA-CD.net
'The timbres and overtones are captured with extraordinary beauty.'more >>SA-CD.net
'...great minimalist music...Kuniko’s playing is – as ever – subtle, austere and hypnotic.'more >>Irish Times
'Varied recording venues and microphone perspectives are used to create soundworlds of a delicacy and richness well beyond what the instrumentations suggest.'more >>MusicWeb International
'Kato's superb control of the marimba and vibraphone deepens these pulsing, rocking and 'tintinnabular' effects.'more >>The Independent
'...intricate rhythms are what catch the ear, but it's the overtones and silences that mesmerise'more >>The Times
'Listening to these marimba rhythms is just right for a hot day, in fact it’s as refreshing as standing inside Niagara'The Observer
'imaginiative reworkings...in the hands of a master marimba player...an absorbing recital.'more >>