Related Reviews
American Record Guide
'This exquisite-sounding program offers compelling transcriptions of his Für Alina as well as the Cantus and the unforgettable Fratres.'
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Classical Ear
4 Stars
'The recording, as we have come to expect from Linn Records, is first class.'
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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!’
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International Record Review
'...this thoroughly engaging, fastidiously produced recording casts the marimba in an entirely new light.'
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Gramophone
‘The most convincing moment is reserved for Reich. New York Counterpoint continues where ‘Kuniko Plays reich’ left off.’
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Baker & Taylor CD Hot List
'...masterful transcription...'
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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.'
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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.'
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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!'
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La Scena Musicale
4 Stars
CD of the Week: '...outstanding. Why can't all records sound this good?'
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Infodad
‘Kuniko’s arrangements are attractive, and she certainly plays them well…’
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SA-CD.net
5 Stars
'The timbres and overtones are captured with extraordinary beauty.'
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SA-CD.net
4½ Stars
'...great minimalist music...Kuniko’s playing is – as ever – subtle, austere and hypnotic.'
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Irish Times
5 Stars
'Varied recording venues and microphone perspectives are used to create soundworlds of a delicacy and richness well beyond what the instrumentations suggest.'
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MusicWeb International
'Kato's superb control of the marimba and vibraphone deepens these pulsing, rocking and 'tintinnabular' effects.'
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The Independent
4 Stars
'...intricate rhythms are what catch the ear, but it's the overtones and silences that mesmerise'
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The Times
4 Stars
'Listening to these marimba rhythms is just right for a hot day, in fact it’s as refreshing as standing inside Niagara'
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The Observer
'imaginiative reworkings...in the hands of a master marimba player...an absorbing recital.'
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Kuniko - Cantus - AllMusic.com


05 September 2013
AllMusic.com
James Manheim
4½ Stars

Kuniko Kato, who goes by the single name Kuniko, is an emerging Japanese marimba and 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 and 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, and it's no surprise to learn that all three of the composers featured here -- Arvo Pärt, Reich once again, and British minimalist Hywel Davies -- supervised and 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 three pieces). In Reich's New York Counterpoint the marimba emits eerily clarinet-like sounds. But perhaps the strongest performances are those of Pärt's music, where Kuniko keeps the sounds a bit simpler and 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 Pärt liked these renditions, which extend his language in a totally ingenious and musical way. The final Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in Mirror) is haunting, and the entire album is essential listening for anyone with the slightest interest in contemporary percussion.
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