Kazuo Yamada was one of Japan’s most influential composers and conductors who, in his own works, rejected the ‘facile exoticism’ of Japanese nationalism that became the vogue at the onset of the Sino-Japanese war in 1937. The little symphonic poem A Song of Young People is one such ‘protest’ work. Kiso (Old Japanese Melody) is an orchestral paraphrase of two folk songs, while the symphonic suite India is a reworking of the ballet score Spellbinding, which is based on Indian legend. The Mahlerian Grand Treasure is a threnody for the dead that movingly incorporates Japanese instruments related to shomyo (the chanting of Buddhist hymns) which, in Yamada’s own words, ‘can in a sense be thought of as the origin of Japanese music’.
"...Here we have an enriching portrait with music by the Japanese composer Kazuo Yamada, in flawless recordings from Russia..." ****
Remy Franck - Pizzicato magazine - April 2014