Furusato: A Japanese Journey Vol.2

I regard Japan as my second home, having visited many times over the 27 years since 1991. This is partly because of the wonderfully warm welcome I get, partly because I love the beauty of the countryside, the culture and the history but also because the songs I sing truly touch my heart. This is my third CD of ‘kakyoku’ and Adrian Farmer and I have put together some familiar and some unusual songs within the selection. Charlotte de Rothschild


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...This is her third CD in which she sings Japanese songs in Japanese. She is accompanied on the piano by the producer Adrian Farmer, who is a Director of Nimbus. Naturally the collaboration between Rothschild and Farmer produces a harmonious performance, but on top of that, the production on which they have embarked is of great interest. They are taking on British song-writers whose work has been heard by hardly any modern listener.The first album of Japanese songs released by Rothschild was “Nihon no Tabiji” in 1999, and the second was “Hana wa saku” in 2016. “Furusato” is presented as the second in the “Nihon no Tabiji” series. The Japanese songs recorded in the new CD are full of variety and test the quality of the singer, but Rothschild, with her rich power of expression, invites the listener to a deeply spiritual “furusato” - homecoming. There are 23 songs in all. Rothschild brings depth and sensitivity to her rendition of the “classic” songs like “Kojo no tsuki”, “Furusato”, “Jogashima no ame” and “Chugoku chiho no komori-uta”. On the other hand, the performances of the children’s songs like “Nanatsu no ko” and “Aoi me no ningyo” are straightforward and full of love. “Ice cream no uta”, “Shi no hanaya” and “Hayakuchi kotoba no uta” get the cheerful, comic touch, full of mischief. She speaks 19 languages, and in Japanese she brings together for us the three elements – words, emotions and sound. She says that her Jewish blood helps her to share the feelings of Japanese people. Her accompanist Adrian Farmer also gives a rare kind of performance. He was trained as an accompanist in Manchester’s college of music, and when he accompanies Rothschild’s singing, he listens carefully and plays quietly and so delicately that he seems to use the piano to paint the background to the songs. Recordo Geijutsu - January 2018

The latest CD from Rothschild, who sings in 18 languages and is said to “sing the soul of Japan better than a Japanese”. Her richly resonant voice has a limpid quality, and combined with her Japanese which reels out smoothly, the 23 Japanese songs in the recording are all filled with refinement. Occasionally she can give the impression of varying from the natural Japanese line eg with where she places her stress, but that happens because she gives priority to the line of the melody and the rhythm of the music, and one should rather say that in musical terms the songs flow naturally and she succeeds in stressing the key words in the lyrics. Above all, the way in which she captures the unique Japanese lyricism and refines it into sound, is astonishing. Particularly in “Sakura Yokocho”, her careful depiction of the fleeting beauty of the cherry blossom and of a woman’s delicately changing heart is brilliant. Nagai Shinnosuke, Music Writer and Pianist

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