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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Examiner.com
'If this is a representative sample (and there is no reason to believe it is not), then one can appreciate why Rossi was so admired by the Gonzaga Court.'
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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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AllMusic.com
4½ Stars
'... the entire album is essential listening...'
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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 - La Scena Musicale


05 September 2013
La Scena Musicale
Norman Lebrecht
4 Stars

Sir Thomas Beecham used to call his percussion ‘kitchen instruments' and treat the players at the back of the orchestra like household staff. Percussion has come a long way since then, both in the diversity of instruments and in force of ambition.

Kuniko Kato, a US-based Japanese virtuoso, applies her marimbas, crotales, bells and vibraphones to the works of living composers, several of whom are delight in the extra colours and dimensions she adds to their work. Arvo Pärt and Steve Reich, meticulous to a fault, assisted in the making of this album.

Reich's landmark 1985 work New York Counterpoint is shaded by Kuniko gently away from its original insistent heaviness into a sound picture that recalls Hokusa's Wave, the original cover of Debussy's La Mer, a seascape full of promise and menace. Four pieces by Pärt are imbued with a shimmer so haunting that you forget they were originally written for strings - none more so than the 1977 Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten which, no longer mourning, finds a certain celebration in a composer's life. The sound, recorded at 24-bit/192hz by Yuji Sagae and Junichiro Hayashi, is outstanding. Why can't all records sound this good?


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