8 Oct 2011

Joe Hisaishi - The Best of Cinema Music

01. NAUSICAA (From the film "Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind")
02. Princess Mononoke (From the film "Princess Mononoke")
03. THE GENERAL (From the film "THE GENERAL (Keaton's The Great Train Pursuit)")
04. Raging Men (From the film "Brother")
05. HANA-BI (From the film "HANA-BI")
06. Kids Return (From the film "Kids Return")
07. Let The Bullets Fly (From the film "Let the Bullets Fly")
08. Howl's Moving Castle (From the film "Howl's Moving Castle")
09. One Summer's Day (From the film "Spirited Away")
10. Summer (From the film "Kikujiro")
11. Villain (From the film "Villain")
12. Ashitaka and San (From the film "Princess Mononoke")
13. My Neighbour TOTORO (From the film "My Neighbor Totoro")

First of all, an old story about which I've told  a lot of people (hope anyone remembers it).
My first serious meeting (before I listened only the soundtrack for "Ponyo") with Joe Hisaishi was a DVD with his concert in Budokan, still being considered by me to be the best video ever recorded (however, Blu-ray version is far better, not only because of quality). I couldn't help, downloading...rips...after watching the show. RIPS, since here was no original CD release. Back then I thought that Master obviously gave as an another album where we could listen such magnificent arrangements like those at this concert but it didn't happen to be a fact, even though his discography includes much over 100 CDs... I couldn't believe it. Rips of, naturally, low quality couldn't satisfy me enough.
And so I "waited" 2 years for a news like that... "The Best of Cinema Music" including Joe's beautiful arrangements from charity concerts. I noticed Nausicaa or Princess Monoke Suite, of similar length as in Budokan and on the concert in Kraków. I couldn't wait for the next day to listen to them along with other amazing tracks prepared for us.
Does this album make me fulfilled?

The answer is no. It's a great, fantastic, outstanding, really brilliant production, but if to compare with Budokan, there is an easy winner. And I listened to both albums at least ~20 times, so I know what I say.
Seems like the magic of  "25 years of work with Hayao Miyazaki" concert just can't be replaced. Maybe it's all because of the enormous orchestra and choirs? Maybe it is. After all Budokan's recording sounds FAR stronger, more emotional and in general, better. And that actually is all I can tell you about why I feel better about Budokan performances.
Other the same (or should I say similar, because a bit differently played?) arrangements which happened to be played in Budokan and placed on the CD are fantastic "Ashitaka no San"  and "My Neighbour Totoro" (but only "Tonari no Totoro").

What much disappoints about this album is that "Ponyo" or "Laputa" was not included. Instead of them we have versions of "KIDS RETURN", "Summer", "One Summer's day", "Howl's moving Castle", "HANA-BI", "Raging man", "Let the Bullets Fly" and part of Keaton the General, which we know from other albums! That's very sad to me, but... I must agree, logical.

Let's talk about totally new tracks. Oh, I'm sorry, there actually is only a one like that. I must admit, even after listening 5 times, I couldn't enjoy "Villain" soundtrack very much. BUT it doesn't matter as I started to love it a bit later. The reason why I couldn't find it to be masterpiece for so long is that it presents a totally different Hisaishi than I've been listening before. Dark, mysterious atmosphere... It didn't really fit in my picture of him.
"Villain" suite (I also heard it on live in Kraków) is superb, just like all the other compositions on this album. Meanwhile I watched the movie and maybe that's also the reason why I feel more and more willing to listen to it again. I especially like vocal part, what is kind of strange considering my music taste. Fantastic voice of... Wait, I probably won't know until I buy CD and take a look in booklets... Cause I can't find the info anywhere.
Speaking about booklets - photo for cover has been taken from the concert in Kraków. Unfortunately, it's not possible to find me on the audience, ekhm.

If you consider listening "Best of Cinema Music" by Joe Hisaishi, you are an idiot. There is no point in considering, just listen to it already! One of the best album of the year for me, if not the best.
Hopefully you don't know the concert in Budokan and you won't have comparing thoughts as I do.
"Joe Hisaishi in Budokan" changed my life indeed.

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