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Four recording companies jointly release new CD collection of famous performers of traditional Japanese music (hogaku) with English commentary titled “Masters of Japan.”
  A new CD series of 25 titles presenting the rich breadth of Japanese traditional music will be released on April 6 (¥2500 incld. Tax, ¥5000 in sets of 2). This series is the product of a joint project by four leading recording companies in the field, King Records, Columbia Music Entertainment, Victor Foundation for the Promotion of Traditional Music and Japan Crown. It draws on the wealth of recordings from their collections dating back over many years, from which have been chosen some of the greatest performances by famous masters of the traditional instruments.
As sales by Japanese record companies continue to decline in recent years, the music genres that show no growth potential are disappearing. In the traditional music genre, attract little interest from young people who are the main CD consumers, there are not only few new recordings being released but also many older recordings are going out of print. Fearing the great potential cultural loss that will result from this trend, the directors and producers of the recording companies have come together to present a series of recordings aimed at offering the full appeal and breath of Japanese traditional music. By bringing together performances from the four companies’ collections of music from the traditional biwa, koto, shakuhachi, shamisen, nohgaku, gidaiu and nagauta repertoires as well as pieces influenced by contemporary, the series presents a selection that is sure to delight traditional music fans and first-time listeners alike, such as one series of great shakuhachi performances by four of the instrument’s most famed masters. And, to better introduce the appeal of Japanese traditional music to foreign audiences, each CD comes complete with English commentary on the music.