On Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Kabuki developed from noh plays and bunraku puppet theatre. Hence, the actors do not always speak but act out and sometimes dance the narratives of a musical ensemble at the side of the stage. If you want the hear the short percussive accents and dances of Kabuki, this CD will not meet your expectations, and I recommend instead Ensemble Nipponia's very fine album on Nonesuch. Nagauta, the form of long narrative songs sometimes presented in concert separate from kabuki, is the focus here of Ensemble Kineya. The group plays shamisen lute, the nokan and shinobue flutes, the shoulder drum ko-tsuzumi, the hip drum o-tsuzumi, and the more familiar stick drum or taiko. The performance of three pieces is finely recorded. I have seen three full kabuki performances [a live recording of the drama Kanjincho is no longer available (King Records, Japan, KICH 2003)] and can thereby state that this CD does provide the flavor of kabuki with the alternating single narrator, with one shamisen and drum or flute, followed by the chorus of the full ensemble. Yet without the movement of actors, the color of costumes, and the rich backdrops, the music is but a shadow of the kabuki experience.
1. Kurama Yama
Composed By – Katsuraburô Kineya XII
2. Niwaka Jishi
Composed By – Rokusaburô Kineya IV
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