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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
14
Playing The Piano (Deluxe Edition)
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 12 March 2017
A talented actor, musician and composer Sakamoto's music is contemporary classical at its best. Although some of the works may seem a little light without the lush string arrangements he usually employs on repeated listening you are rewarded by the clarity the single instrument brings. Truly beautiful. The CD arrived before time and well packed.
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VINE VOICEon 2 January 2010
This deluxe edition is the one to buy, as it also contains a new Ryuichi Sakamoto album called "Out of Noise" which on its own is an outstanding record - quite why it's tucked away as a "bonus" disc here I really couldn't say.

Anyway, disc 1 "Playing the Piano" is what Sakamoto calls his album of "self-covers" done on the piano. The mood is dark, sad, winter melancholy. It's difficult to believe that just one instrument is used throughout - such is the depth of emotion on the LP.

The aforementioned disc 2 "Out of Noise" has, for the most part, a similar mood, although brings in additional instruments and treatments. It's up there with, if not better than, the best works of Brian Eno, Eric Serra and John Beltran. A classic, in fact.

Perfect winter music.
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on 27 December 2010
Beautifully pared down and elegant piano music on the first disc. The second is more avant garde using repetition and found sounds, but equally hypnotic in its own way. The only downside is the packaging - unless the designer was actually given the brief of coming up with some packaging to guarantee that the discs would end up scratched, they should be thwacked upside the head with a relatively large fish.
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on 3 July 2013
as always another superb album by Mr S...my only downside is that it came in a cardboard sleeve, which I dont have a problem with as opposed to plastic, but it is quite tight and you really have to pull the CDs out...leading to finger prints on the disk. Other than that AAAA+++++
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on 25 March 2010
It is pure aetheric music; from out of the deep bangs of a melancholic creation.
Real and truthful; it prophetically communicates a cajoling power that is mesmerising and inspiring.
It gets right into the blood and rejuvenates; banishing any disharmonies and discords.
Music doesn't get any more authoritative than this.
It elevates and reveals, telling you what you need to hear.
I wouldnt be surprised; if it even cures cancer.

Every time i hear it; it deeply reveals...
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on 28 June 2013
One of sakamoto's best work to date !! I advise you to buy the "2 CD" edition ; because Sakamoto alone at his piano is always a great moment. This album is filled with emotion and also some avant-garde works.
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on 10 September 2014
Excellent! Love it..
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on 14 August 2010
I enjoy this album for what it is: film music (mostly) played on the piano with a comparative absence of trickery... comparative, that is, to the obligatory bombast of the original production scores; but also to Sakamoto's electronic oeuvre. And let's be clear that - despite his reputedly hypnotic playing style - there is no way that the ageing Japanese wunderkind could get through all the tracks here on a pub piano without either a computer chip or Doc Octopus as an assistant.

This is emotional music for people who like to think about emotion and feel music: rather than the other way around.

So - since no one else is - let's be brutal. Sakomoto is not Chopin. He offers nothing like the Polish master's complexity and has done nothing to match his historical achievement. He's not 'even' Debussy (who Sakomoto rightly admires). You might say he combines Erik Satie's molasses stride with Modest Mussorgsky's chordal enthusiasm. In fact Mussorgsky makes a neat comparison: someone soused in nationalist harmonics, whose compositions only achieve their potential when they're transposed.

Many a performer would envy Sakomoto's delightful effects and many a composer would want his ear for melodic 'hooks': but you can buy lemon meringues that have got more structure than these works have - and although structure for its own sake is a conservative vice, it is also a pretty infallible measure of thought and imagination. The suspicion has to be that this cd release was a bit of a money-earner ('Merry Xmas Mr Lawrence' AGAIN?!) by a man anxious to buff up his posterity before the arrival of arthritis.

Which doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. Just keep a sense of proportion. After all, most of that squelchy stuff is in our hearts, not in the plastic - and it does us no dishonour.
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on 13 December 2009
Some of the most complete and downright addictive music I've heard in a long time.
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on 1 March 2016
Excellent and enjoyable overview of the range of RS's work.
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