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Debussy: Snowflakes Are Dancing


Price: CDN$ 8.31 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
Usually ships within 3 to 6 weeks.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
33 new from CDN$ 5.94 8 used from CDN$ 7.00

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Debussy: Snowflakes Are Dancing + The Tomita Planets + Pictures At An Exhibition
Price For All Three: CDN$ 31.32

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 8 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00003OP6X
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,664 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Snowflakes Are Dancing
2. Reverie
3. Gardens in the Rain
4. Clair de Lune, No. 3"
5. Arabesque No. 1
6. The Engulfed Cathedral
7. Passepied
8. The Girl with the Flaxen Hair
9. Golliwogg's Cakewalk
10. Footprints in the Snow
11. Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

Product Description

Product Description

High Performance 24/96 remastering of Tomita's American debut of electronic renderings of Debussy classics that turned both the classical and pop worlds on their ears and expanded that realm of electronic music. Sampled at 24bit, 96khz for the best possible sound!

Amazon.ca

Back in the 70s, the rapid development of synthesisers and electronic keyboards had a huge impact on popular music, with Isao Tomita among the leading exponents of multi-media, surround-sound events associated in Western Europe with such very different musicians as Rick Wakeman and Jean-Michel Jarre. The present disc has less grandiose aims, being a well-balanced selection of, to quote the original liner notes, "Virtuoso electronic performances of Debussy's beautiful tone paintings". It's easy to scoff at the concept behind Tomita's approach--take some of the most poetic music around and give it the consistency of aural cotton wool--yet there's no denying the skill with which he translates Debussy's sound world, preserving the harmonic interest of the piano originals, and bringing out many subtleties of texture. Inevitably the slower numbers come off best--"Clair de lune" or "Reverie" could easily become "chill-out" favourites. "Preludeto the Afternoon of a Faun", however, is not so much a travesty as a vaporisation of the orchestral masterpiece. A mixed bag, but with enough musical interest to make Tomita's "sound clouds" of more than just curiosity value. --Richard Whitehouse

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeff N on April 6 2002
Format: Audio CD
Most say Snowflakes is Tomita's best CD. I think it is definitely in his top three.
To find all the other Tomita CDs on Amazon (there are several) you have to choose Popular Music in the popup menu and type in Tomita.
This newly remastered CD is an audiophile recording, adds Prelude To The Afternoon of a Faun (from the Firebird album), and is a very good price.
But there are six Tomita albums out of print, four of those have never been released on CD in the U.S. and most Tomita fans and collectors would love to have them all.
So in the hopes that if enough people ask for a Tomita box set it will happen, I have made a list of every classical Tomita album ever released (except the compilations).
As a person who started collecting Tomita and other electronic albums in the 70s, plus symphony orchestra versions of the classical music that Tomita used, I hope you think that I am qualified to create the following list of Tomita albums and review them as well.
Tomita's first five already have great reviews in Amazon, so I concentrated most on his last six albums.
SNOWFLAKES ARE DANCING 1974
(11 Debussy pieces)
Most say Snowflakes is Tomita's best CD. I think it is definitely in his top three.
This newly remastered CD is an audiophile recording, adds Prelude To The Afternoon of a Faun (from the Firebird album), and is a very good price.
PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION 1975 (Mussorgsky)
This is definitely one of Tomita's best CDs. For this album he created some of the most unusual, high quality electronic sounds ever heard. Then he used these sounds very effectively in good orchestrations. The listening is as enjoyable as it is weird. Quite an accomplishment in itself.
Read more ›
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By Phasedin on Jan. 17 2004
Format: Audio CD
Please read the previous review. It's very knowledgeable, with a great history of the electronic music scenes' start and rise into the 70's. Since their aren't many reviews of this great recording, I just wanted to add in my rating. I believe I still have the original vinyl lurking somewhere in my collection, but long ago purchased the original CD (which I still have) and now the newer CD version with the added track "Prelude To The Afternoon..".
I am always amazed at how Tomita somehow avoided most of the cliches of early synthesizer sounds on this and how it sounds far more recent than just about any synthesizer recording I can recall from this time period. It is evident from listening to this that Tomita (and probably this album in particular) was a big influence to young musicians at the time. Just give a listen to pop musician Todd Rundgren's 1975 36 minute piece " A Treatise On Cosmic Fire" from his "Initiation" album to hear some of the obvious influence Tomita had on the creative folk of the time.
When I listen to this (as I often do), I am reminded of how for all the improvements to modern sythesizer technology since the time this was recorded, that the actuall sounds created for the instruments haven't really improved as much as I thought they had. A testament to this record I guess!
Of course being a fan of Debussy's music will glean even more from these re-worked pieces, but you don't have to be familiar with them to enjoy this recording for everyone who appreciates quality, timeless music.
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Format: Audio CD
Near the end of 1968, someone from right here in America who was then known as Walter Carlos release an album called Switched-On Bach, a classical album played on what was such new technology that most people still didn't know what it was. That technology was the Moog synthesizer. From that point on to about 1972, there were countless imitators, ranging from "Everything You Always Wanted to Hear on a Moog *but Were Afraid to Ask" to "The Unusual Classical Synthesizer" (although that was played on a VCS-3 synthesizer, but the concept was still the same), and everything in between. Most of these albums ended up as historical curiosities. But electronic music wasn't to be taken seriously if it was to consistently consist of "cheesy Moog" classical (and pop) albums. So a few went and did their own compositions in a much more serious matter, and names like Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and later on Jean Michel Jarre, became big names in electronic music. And then there's Isao Tomita, from Japan, who, since the 1950s was composing scores for Japanese film and television. He had the idea of taking classical in the form of electronic music and taking it way further than all the "cheesy Moog" albums that was common around 1968-1972 ever had. Here, he purchased a modular Moog, as well as a Mellotron, and got to work. So he decided to use Debussy for synthesizer and Mellotron. And that album became Snowflakes are Dancing. So what you got is electronic classical like what has never done before. He even so much as brought the dynamics of the original score in to his version, making the music quiet where it needs to be, and loud where it needs to, and everything in between. The music often has a spacy, cosmic feel to it, and no doubt the addition of Mellotron (set to choir) helps big time.Read more ›
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