Format: COMPACT DISC
ENSEMBLE YONIN NO KAI
The history of traditional Japanese music extends from its origins in the second century BC up to the present, encompassing five main periods: prehistoric, ancient, mediaeval, modern, and contemporary. During each of these periods, specific forms of music developed, some of which are still extant today. Japanese music as we know it today was born during the mediaeval period, with the appearance of Wasan (Buddhist chant performed in Japanese), of Heikyoku (Heike epics, sung and recited with accompaniment on the biwa lute), and of No (theater plays involving dialogues, mime and dance. The Yonin No Kai Ensemble from Tokyo was created in 1957 when each of its four members was awarded a gold medal in Moscow at the International Competition of Traditional Instruments. Since then, the ensemble has given many concerts, both in Japan and abroad, as is evident from their discography, these artists have made an exceptional contribution to Japanese music, ancient as well as contemporary: they have recorded, so far, as much as fifteen albums with traditional music, and some ten albums with contemporary compositions.