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Smile Down Upon Us

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Akira Kosemura: Trio

As melodically ravishing a collection of music as we've come to expect from Akira Kosemura, Trio is an EP-length collection of four settings by the pianist/composer. The third edition in Schole's ‘Concert Single Series' (after, appropriately enough Solo and Duo), the live recording finds Kosemura performing pieces from his Embers soundtrack alongside violinist Mika Shirasawa and cellist Maiko Sato at Lutheranian Ichigaya Church in Tokyo. At twenty-two minutes, the recording's over fast yet is still long enough for its graceful dazzle to leave a lasting impression.

Kosemura unreservedly embraces consonance in these richly melodic works, and one comes away from the recording struck by its elegance and sincerity. The opener “Precious” establishes the recording's harmonious tone with sweetly rapturous violin playing by Shirasawa that's empathetically supported by the pianist and cellist. If the opener puts the violinist at the forefront, the tender “Larmes” does the same for the pianist, at least initially, before the others join him for a ballad-styled meditation. As heartfelt are “Fragile” and “Imagery,” which achieve similar depths of feeling when their vibrato-laden strings segue between tender and stately passages. Exquisite is a word that often comes to mind when thinking about Kosemura's music, and Trio, a miniature work of beauty, will do nothing to change that.

May 2015