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"Nihon no tabiji – a Japanese Journey"

Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano)

Nimbus Alliance NI 6190

A pleasant, indeed quite captivating curiosity; Japanese art songs of 19/20 C which are entirely in a westernised tonal idiom of the past, although some of the composers are possibly still alive (the disc was recroded in 1999 and haas to wait until 2012 to appear in an British catalogue.

There is little to distinguish individual composers in these songs about love, nature and all the usual romantic topics.

What does distinguish it is a lovely soprano voice in perfect control, well accompanied and engineered in Forde Abbey, Somerset. Charlotte de Rothschild has performed and reccorded widely, and has toured in Japan extensively.

The poems are charming and often quite interesting, but in the booklet printed not quite parallel with the Japanese originaals, most of which are divided into short verses, whereas the English words run as blocks.

Peter Grahame Woolf


Equally commendable, and enjoyable particularly if you have a little girl around to share them with, is Charlotte de Rothschild's programme of Fairy Songs with Danielle Perret, harp (Nimbus Alliance NI 6193).

See her on YouTube singing one of the most popular (in bygone times !) -
Liza Lehmann's There are Fairies at the bottom of my garden.


Review of Japanese song CD – "Nihon no tabiji – a Japanese Journey"
"Upon hearing the very first song I was enthralled by Charlotte’s singing. Through her one can sense the style of the Taisho/Showa epoch… she conveys the very essence of the music. One wonders where she obtained such intimate feelings which seem, at times, stronger than those posessed by many contemporary Japanese. Japanese songs have delicate words and phrases and these are reflected by the natural beauty of her voice which catches the attention of the listener. Charlotte is excellently matched with her accompanist Masahiro Saitoh and both create a harmonious ensemble. I sincerely hope that this C.D. reaches out and moves audiences world-wide." RYOHSUKE HATANAKA (Professor Emeritus of the Tokyo University of Fine Art and Music)