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!
Back in the '70s, the rapid development of synthesizers and electronic keyboards had a huge impact on popular music, with Isao Tomita among the leading exponents of multimedia, 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 soundworld, 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 favorites. "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun," however, is not so much a travesty as a vaporization 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