Album of the Week - 'Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi'

23rd April 2020

Posted in: Playlists

This week, Sylvain, one of our International Account Managers, shares his favourite album of the week - Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi.

"Movie soundtracks have always been among my favorite genres, for their ability to tell a story. I believe many cult movies would not be the same if their music had not contributed to their identity and success. Months of home office are an opportunity to discover new artists and genres. Yet I always need to return to my favorites, especially Japan’s most famous contemporary soundtrack composer Joe Hisaishi. Between soundtracks for Hayao Miyazaki, Takeshi Kitano or others, and his other personal works, there is plenty to enjoy and discover.

His newly released 'Dream Songs – The Essential' double album is the perfect entry point to his music, with 28 new orchestrations of his most iconic creations over the past 40 years. Joe Hisaishi has been touring the world conducting large orchestra concerts over the past few years, and this experience shows here, bringing new scale and dynamic to his music, especially his earliest work from the 80s.

Though working almost exclusively with orchestras, Joe Hisaishi’s compositions offer a stunning variety in styles and moods. The album opens with the quiet piano piece 'Summer' from Spirited Away, one of his most famous tunes. The movie won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature this year and contributed a lot to growing both the director’s and the composer’s popularity outside of Asia. From there, the anthology explores many facets of Hisaishi’s work, from the war drums of Princess Mononoke to the sweeping waltz Merry-Go-Round (Howl’s Moving Castle) or the iconic and joyful 'Summer' (Kikujiro). The new orchestrations bring the strings from Kiki’s Delivery Service to new heights 30 years after the movie’s release, while my favorite 'Innocence', main theme of Castle in the Sky, remains as powerful and emotional as ever."



About the artist

From Nakato, Japan, Mamoru Fujisawa, known professionally as Joe Hisaishi, is very well known for his piano scores and has been composing and directing film scores, and solo albums, for over 40 years.

As well as being an invited professor for the Japanese National College of Music, he is also a typesetter, author, arranger, and conductor.


About the album

Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi is the fourteenth compilation album by Joe Hisaishi, released through Decca Gold in 2020.

The album features the greatest hits from iconic award-winning films, orchestra and solo piano works, including recordings never before released outside Japan.

The 2-disc compilation album features several beloved Hisaishi compositions, many of which soundtrack the most famous moments in all of anime, such as 'Spirited Away', 'My Neighbor Totoro', 'Princess Mononoke' and more.



How to Listen

Spotify | Tidal | Apple Music



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