Karen Tanaka: Crystalline

Karen Tanaka: Crystalline

by Signe Bakke

SACD(Super Audio CD - SACD Hybrid)

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Product Details

Release Date: 04/26/2011
Label: 2-L
UPC: 7041888515524
catalogNumber: 74
Rank: 209361


  1. Children of Light, for piano
  2. Lavender Field, for piano
  3. Northern Lights, for piano
  4. Water Dances, for piano

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Karen Tanaka: Crystalline 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
DPost More than 1 year ago
This CD features several solo piano pieces by Karen Tanaka, who is described in at least three places here as "one of the leading Japanese composers of her generation." The album is "bookended" at the front by Crystalline and at the end by Crystalline II. Described as "sound sculpture" these are non-tonal, highly abstract pieces with clear influences of Messiaen and Boulez. In between are several pieces of quite different character. Water Dance clearly brings to mind Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit. Northern lights, Debussy. The Techno Etudes recall the wonderful Ligeti sets of etudes, but without the depth of invention or imagination. Children of Light is a group of short pieces, tonal and diatonic, often pared down to two voices. I found little of interest here, thinking at times that they would make good background music for TV. What is most frustrating about this disc is a lack of consistent, personal voice, and what voice there is is often borrowed from masters who do it much better. The CD features clear, well-imaged sound, and Signe Bakke provides performances that are unlikely to be bettered.