2006 Lawrence Tuczynski

All information about this disc courtesy of Robert Storch

Title DUO UEDA plays AKIRA IFUKUBE
CD Label Sakura Sound
CD Number SSEC-3105
Music Composed by: Akira Ifukube
Music Performed by: Duo Ueda
Number of tracks 10
Running time 72:39
Number of discs 1
Year of release/manufacture June 2005

REVIEW September 3, 2006 courtesy of Robert Storch

The Duo Ueda, featuring Eiji and Chiyo Ueda are a unique group - a married couple who perform music arranged for guitar duo. This release from last year called "DUO UEDA plays AKIRA IFUKUBE" is a thoroughly enjoyable CD, featuring some of Ifukube's most popular compositions. With the exception of tracks 5 & 8, which are performed solo by Eiji Ueda, the entire album was recorded as a duo.

What struck me from the moment I heard the first track was how crystal clear the music sounded - you really feel like you are just a few feet away from them as they are playing. There are many favorites on this CD, but the real treat is their version of Symphonic Fantasia No.1. I believe this is the first time I have heard this performed using only guitars, and it was just a fantastic listening experience - a refreshing change of pace from all the full orchestra versions that exist. The last track, LA FONTAINE SACREE, is based on Ifukube's classical arrangement of the beautiful theme from GODZILLA vs MOTHRA, and is a nice way to end the CD. For additional information on the Duo Ueda, I have included this excerpt from the booklet:

"Eiji and Chiyo were married in 1998. They held a duo recital in July of 2000 at the Phoenix Hall in Osaka and in October at the Gendai Guitar Salon in Tokyo. Their ambitious programs - including premiering the "Japanese Suite" by Akira Ifukube and a full performance of Keigo Fujii's "Dies Irae" - have received favorable review. The Duo Ueda released their first CD, Dies Irae, Music for guitar duo by Keigo Fujii, in 2003. In May of 2004 they performed as guests at the 16th Japan Guitar Ensemble Competition and Festival held in Saitama. In 2005, the Duo Ueda will perform at the Barocksaal in Kyoto and the Gendai Guitar Salon in Tokyo. They will premier new works by Keigo Fujii and will perform the concerto for Two Guitars and Orchestra by Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Presently the Duo Ueda is actively pursuing their performance activities while pioneering the development of unique repertoire for guitar duet."

You can order the CD from the GENDAIGUITAR website:
http://www.geocities.jp/uedaguitar/Welcome.html
email:
sales@gendaiguitar.com
Order Number is SSEC3105
Title is DUO UEDA plays AKIRA IFUKUBE

DUO UEDA plays AKIRA IFUKUBE (SSEC-3105)

    JAPANESE SUITE

  1. BON-ODORI, Nocturnal dance of the Bon-Festival, Allegro energico
  2. TANABATA, Fete of Vega, Lento tranquillo
  3. NAGASHI, Profane mistrel. Quasi burlesco
  4. NEBUTA, Festal ballad, Marciale pesante
  5. TOCCATA PER CHITARRA
  6. BALLATA SINFONICA

  7. Prima Ballata, Allegro Capriccioso
  8. Seconda Ballata, Andante Rapsodico
  9. Toka Cantilena Ballabile sul Mode Antico di Giappone
  10. SYMPHONIC FANTASIA NO.1
  11. LA FONTAINE SACREE