Quad LP/Tape Poll Tomita: Snowflakes are Dancing [CD-4/Q8/QR]

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Rate "Snowflakes"

  • 10: Tops!

    Votes: 6 54.5%
  • 9

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • 8

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • 7

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • 6

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5 So-So

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1 Utterly sux

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    11

EMB

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RCA Red Seal ARD1-0488 from 1974.


Side/Program 1:

Snowflakes are Dancing (Children's Corner, No. 4)
Reverie
Gardens in the Rain (Estampes, No. 3)
Clair De Lune (Suite Bergamasque, No. 3)
Arabesque No. 1

Side/Program 2:

The Engulfed Cathedral (Preludes, Book 1, No. 10)
Passepied (Suite Bergamasque, No. 4)
The Girl with the Flaxen Hair (Preludes, Book 1, No. 8)
Golliwog's Cakewalk (Children's Corner, No. 6)
Footprints in the Snow (Preludes, Book 1, No. 6)

Tomita-Snowflakes-Are-Da-293256.jpg

ED :)
 

kap'n krunch

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RCA Red Seal ARD1-0488 from 1974.


Side/Program 1:

Snowflakes are Dancing (Children's Corner, No. 4)
Reverie
Gardens in the Rain (Estampes, No. 3)
Clair De Lune (Suite Bergamasque, No. 3)
Arabesque No. 1

Side/Program 2:

The Engulfed Cathedral (Preludes, Book 1, No. 10)
Passepied (Suite Bergamasque, No. 4)
The Girl with the Flaxen Hair (Preludes, Book 1, No. 8)
Golliwog's Cakewalk (Children's Corner, No. 6)
Footprints in the Snow (Preludes, Book 1, No. 6)
ED :)
This one is a SOLID 10 from me!!!!
Being a HUGE fan of Calude, Isao's versions are superb and I'm almost positive that even Claude himself would have enjoyed them!(EDIT: The reel is the real thing)

Now ..as for the "Claire de Lune" SACD released a couple of years ago...are those the same mix? Because they sure sound the same to me, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.....


Here is the SACD Playlist:

01.
The Snow Is Dancing-children`s Corner

02.
Whistle And Chime-the Art Of Sound Creation

03.
1ere Arebesque-deux Arabesques

04.
Clair De Lune-suite Bergamasque

05.
Jardins Sous La Pluie-estampes

06.
Des Pas Sur La Neige-preludes 1re Serie

07.
La Cathedrale Engloutie-preludes 1re Serie

08.
2eme Arebesque-deux Arabesques

09.
Reverie

10.
La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin-preludes 1re Serie

11.
Passepied-suite Bergamasque

12.
Golliwogg`s Cakewalk-children`s Corner

13.
Nuages-nocturnes
 

Doug G.

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No question whatsoever. A 10, at least. It is just fabulous. I mean, I thought the regular two channel version was wonderful and then when I got the CD-4, there are just no words.

Yeah, Claude, right up there at the top. My son and daughter-in-law named one of their cats Claude (their other one is named Franz).

Doug
 

EMB

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Tomita's wizardry with synths took the oft-maligned and misused creature into the realm of genuine brilliance, building upon what Carlos & Folkman achieved with SWITCHED-ON BACH. That, and (see other Tomita threads) he understood the potential of quad, embraced it, and built a great catalog. That said, he never matched this RCA debut because, aside from the musicianship, creativity and mastery of the instrument, this is the first album I heard that could be considered what would later be tagged New Age. Unlike so many albums I've heard under that sonic umbrella, though, it never gets tiring to hear it, because, especially in quad, there is so much going on, and more subtlety than the more bombastic passages would have you believe.

It's also a nifty concept album, although not a new idea: many classical pianists had covered Claude Debussy's ouvre before, since it's such a rich body of work. I would pick highlights from the album, except that it's all highs. To wit:



Snowflakes are Dancing (Children's Corner, No. 4): Fast-paced sounding violins open the album, and it grabs your attention: it's gonna be an interesting, intricate ride.

Reverie: Laid back, delicate, contemplative counterpoint to the opener.

Gardens in the Rain (Estampes, No. 3): A few tracks evoke mystery, intensity, forces of nature, and this is one of them.

Clair De Lune (Suite Bergamasque, No. 3): The most famous of Debussy's compositions, it's the one most folks would know. Tomita's brilliance is in evidence here: he created shimmering, gossamer sounds at the top end, and a deep resonance and power at the bottom for a thrilling counterbalance of sound. Typical of the album, the Moog may be a purely electronic instrument (keyboard itself aside), but his subtle, varied uses of tone, timbre and style makes me listener forget there is anything artificial going on. That's because the human behind the instrument has turned a synth into something very human; we hear Debussy's echo, too.

Arabesque No. 1: A playful number, with synthetic flutes, strings, and bells. This one and the title track were issued on stereo 45.

The Engulfed Cathedral (Preludes, Book 1, No. 10): Or, underwater reverie and mystery.

Passepied (Suite Bergamasque, No. 4): Also very playful, until the finish, with keyboard and loud, low frequencies that will tell you how good your sound system REALLY is. Sublime.

The Girl with the Flaxen Hair (Preludes, Book 1, No. 8): Like that girl: beautiful, mysterious, just out of reach. The tone stays the same throughout, just a few minutes contemplating the glory of perfection and dreams of the idyll.

Golliwog's Cakewalk (Children's Corner, No. 6): If there is a throwaway on this album--and there isn't--it's this very playful number that doesn't really go anywhere to any purpose, other than to delight.

Footprints in the Snow (Preludes, Book 1, No. 6): It's been said that, while touring in Japan in the '70s, Stevie Wonder wanted to be taken to a mountain while the snow was falling to get a feeling of what he heard here. If that's so, well, Stevie was a very wise man, and therefore found this album, as we did. A quiet, peaceful yet somewhat melancholy finish, and fitting.



ED :)
 

EMB

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Maybe, but someone in Japan didn't think so--at least regarding the sequencing. SNOWFLAKES presumably has the original track sequence, but then there was an alternate edition (with different cover) titled CLAIR DE LUNE, which allegedly has this track lineup:

Side 1: The Engulfed Cathedral/Passepied/Snowflakes Are Dancing/The Girl with the Flaxen Hair/Arabesque No. 1
Side 2: Gardens in the Rain/Reverie/Golliwog's Cakewalk/Clair De Lune/Footprints in the Snow


Add to that the SACD with extra tracks and that's THREE variants of the album, not counting things like a half-speed mastered vinyl edition (stereo) and Dolby Surround CD. The album got to #2 on the US classical charts and (I think) somewhere in the 50's on Billboard Top Lp's, which was actually mighty good for a classical album after the early '60s.

ED :)
 

winopener

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The Japanese edition was the original first... RCA USA re-tooled the Japanese album and gave it a different title. Nothing new, happened a lot of times even to some small quartet coming from Liverpool. :)
As a sequence, i'm used to the USA one for personal historical reason.
 

EMB

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Not surprising...what IS surprising is that the album has three variants, and was, as you say, retooled early on, although perhaps more for the international market than the USA alone. I suppose one prefers the sequencing you first heard, which for us would be the US release. At least we have a SACD edition with all the music, which is no small thing.

ED :)
 

QuantumGuitar

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I'm not a big listener of classical music, but it is obvious that Tomita's interpretations of these pieces transcend the classical genre as well as the realm of classical interpretations into a unique electronic experience. The QR sounds fantastic and the mix is just unbelievable. Very entertaining at times, constantly shifting and surprising. Amazing. 9
 

Dillydipper

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The Japanese edition was the original first... RCA USA re-tooled the Japanese album and gave it a different title. Nothing new, happened a lot of times even to some small quartet coming from Liverpool. :)
As a sequence, i'm used to the USA one for personal historical reason.
Yeah, but...why would Tomita title his original domestic/Japanese release, after a track he buried almost all the way to the end on Side 2...? I mean, that's what it says on Discogs, but, well....whaah...?

By the way, did anybody else know he did the soundtrack to Tuzuki's "Simba The White Lion" tv series?
 

EMB

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Yeah, but...why would Tomita title his original domestic/Japanese release, after a track he buried almost all the way to the end on Side 2...? I mean, that's what it says on Discogs, but, well....whaah...?
A good question. And for what it's worth, SNOWFLAKES did make the Top 100 of Billboard's Top Lp chart back in 1974, highly unusual by that time for a classical album (it went to #2 on the actual classical chart).

By the way, did anybody else know he did the soundtrack to Tuzuki's "Simba The White Lion" tv series?
Yeah, although I don't remember reading any articles with Tomita-san bragging about that...:D I remember the series from UHF TV back in the early '70s, it was being syndicated stateside ( I bought the DVD box set when it was released, not sure what year that was, though. A trip down memory lane, as it were).

And for those of you who haven't taken the plunge yet, do snag a copy of the Japan SACD. It's a beauty, and has a few fun surprises, too....

ED :)
 
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