Album: Various artists, Japan: Koto Classics, (Nonesuch)

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The Independent Culture

It's wonderful that Nonesuch is reissuing the 92-LP Explorer Series, which put ethnomusicology on the map in the Seventies.

And it's wonderful to hear once more koto master Shinichi Yuize in his prime. With 13 silk strings stretched over a six-foot soundboard, the koto is one of the world's oldest instruments, and these classic pieces display its suggestive power to the full. The mood is meditative, and the swooshing slides of Yuize's hands over the long strings increase the feeling of immediacy.

Pick of the Album: 'Zangetsu', an 18th-century spirit invocation

Click here to purchase this album

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