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 Isao Tomita - Hänsel und Gretel 1990

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phaedra2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:11 am    Isao Tomita - Hänsel und Gretel 1990 Reply with quoteBack to top

Tomita's Hansel & Gretel theatrical score remains shrouded in mystery despite being recorded in 1990.

For years searches would bring up only references to a VHS & Laser Disc (cat.#'s) release in Japan and that Tomita arranged it but nothing to see or hear.

A recent update on Tomita's website included 3 poster images for the shows for the first time.

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I have gathered enough information and material to clear some of the mystery surrounding Tomita's involvement sharing it here.

Hänsel und Gretel was a German folklore fairy tale passed around verbally till 1812 when story tellers Grimm Brothers published it in print.

Based on that story the German composer Engelbert Humperdinck composed a fairy tale opera in 3 acts premiered in 1892.

In 1990 Isao Tomita arranged a score for a Japanese adaptation of the fairy tale which was also to be sung in Japanese rather than the native German.

Tomita was credited as coordinator, possibly because the score was played semi-life based on his "Sound Cloud" concerts with him conducting the life orchestra as well as mixing in his prerecorded electronic material.

The event was sponsored and held for 3 years in a row at the Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Tokyo around the same dates (12-16th Dec.) with 2-3 shows.

The next post will detail the performance and music including 20+ minutes of Tomita's great & rare score Wink

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Last edited by phaedra2008 on Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:27 am; edited 1 time in total

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phaedra2008
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:23 am    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

It's been a while since I watched this laser disc but I'll make some observations regarding the music as the play is an odd mix of a kids' story performed for a mature opera audience.

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The cameras captured mainly the stage with glances of the live orchestra and Tomita in relative darkness making it impossible to work out who was doing what, audio & video recordings are not the best but good enough for a DVD.

The good thing is the original composition had some interludes blessing us with some great instrumentals

Tomita's arrangement blends electronics and orchestra better than any other musician I can remember including strong presence of his trademark sounds and a dynamic performance.

After years of loud and flat productions it was pleasant to hear again the expressive power of dynamics.

Included is a short vocal operatic piece which on first hearing my mind automatically compared it "like Vangelis' Glorianna" but afterwards I thought, nah, Vangelis sounds like classical music Rolling Eyes

One more thing, on the rare Tomita's best of vol.2 (Japan only) there is a different version of Dream Pantomime Shocked

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I stacked them in a multi track arrangement for easier comparison, the CD version is 1 minute longer with a different start, some epic organ section located elsewhere in the track and an explosive ending, then to top it off, more electronic.

This music was created in 1990, the CD released in 1992 (note - vol.1 has no unreleased music) and then LD came out in 1993.

I dare say Tomita recorded a complete electronic version modified later to include the orchestra and live vocals, wish he released it!

https://soundcloud.com/user26322322/sets/it-hans-grete

Enjoy

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Vignoble @ Co.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:37 am    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

The classic music of the 20th century and a treat for my ears...

Beautiful!

Thanks Dan

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Audioot
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:22 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Great to finally hear something "new" from Tomita...
track 6 appears to be mono though Sad
https://soundcloud.com/user26322322/06-dream-pantomime-cd-version?in=user26322322/sets/it-hans-grete

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phaedra2008
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:26 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

I really enjoyed this too,
Tomita demonstrated he could still apply his 70's magic in 1990 and I guess, Humperdinck's composition also suited Tomita's treatment well.

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waeros
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:10 am    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

None of the lnks work anymore. Could you please Reup? I've been searching Tomita's H&G music for years.
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Jon
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:44 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Phaedra2008 hasn't visited the forum since June 2016, so he has clearly left for good.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:56 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Photobucket have suddenly decided to no longer allow linking from free accounts. Without prior notification I might add.
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waeros
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:33 am    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Too bad. I'm always late for these I guess. Hopefully some of these will emerge somewhere.
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