© 2003 Lawrence Tuczynski

Title Akira Ifukube 3 Concertos
CD Label Fontec
CD Number FOCD3143
Music by: Akira Ifukube
Number of tracks 4
Running time 72:21
Number of discs 1
Year of release/manufacture 5/1/1995


January 12, 2003

This CD was recorded live on Feb. 10, 1983 at Kan-i Hoken Hall. The music is by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michiyoshi Inoue. There are only 4 tracks on this CD (2 of them part of the same selection) but the CD is packed with a playing time of over 72 minutes. This CD was reissued in 1996 with different packaging as " WORKS BY AKIRA IFUKUBE 2" (FOCD-9087), reviewed elsewhere on this site.

I have heard a lot of Ifukube music on CD's but this one grabbed me by the socks and blew me away. It's quite different from anything I've heard before by the master.

Track #1 starts off with a very fast high pitched piano piece. If you have an imagination this music will paint pictures in your mind. For me, I pictured a hummingbird frantically flitting from flower to flower. Part way through the track the music suddenly slows down and evokes a much more somber mood. By the end of the track the pace has quicken once more (but not the frantic pace of the first part) and becomes somewhat action oriented. Track #2 is mostly mid tempo violin music with orchestral accompaniment. You get to hear strains of Godzilla music from time to time in this track. It's just enough to tickle your memory gleefully without over doing it and it's definitely done as you've never heard it before. Track #3 is actually the 2nd movement to the 2nd selection. It starts off featuring drums and woodwinds before delving back into the piano and rest of the orchestra. Again you will hear familiar strains of music that was developed further in the Godzilla films. Track #4 features a 20 string Koto and is mainly slower, more traditional sounding. I heard what sounded like a few faint strains of music heard in the original "Godzilla" 1954 movie during the parts where Godzilla is dying from the Oxygen Destroyer. You can also hear faint strains of other tunes that would later be more fully developed in Akira Ifukube's kaiju music.

As I said earlier, this CD blew me away. I loved it. I bought a spare copy of the rerelease (FOCD9087) from a friend and believe this original is very hard to find. A must have CD for your Ifukube collection if either CD can be found.

English Title: Akira Ifukube 3 Concertos
by Tokyo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michiyoshi Inoue

    1. RITMICA OSTINATA per Pianoforte ed Orchestra (1961)
      featuring Kazuoki Fujii on Piano
    2. RAPSODIA CONCERTANTE per Violino ed Orchestra (1948)
      [Violin Concerto # 1]
      featuring Takeshi Kobayashi on Violin
  1. I. Adagio Allegro
  2. II. Vivace Spirituoso
  3. EGLOGUE SYMPHONIQUE pour Koto a vingt cordes et Orchestra (1982)
    featuring Keiko Nosaka on Koto