2009 January 26 • Monday
The forty-fifth Soundtrack of the Week is The Tale of Osaka Castle by Akira Ifukube.
I love Ifukube's music. Sometimes I think of him as the Japanese Bernard Herrmann. Both composers created music that was obsessive, passionate, romantic and extreme. Both are very easily recognizable composers; a couple of seconds is usually all you need to identify their music.
Just as Herrmann will always be famous for his music for Psycho and other Hitchock movies, Ifukube will be remembered forever as the composer of the score for Gojira (Godzilla) and other Japanese sci-fi and fantasy films.
The Tale of Osaka Castle is classic Ifukube. The low keys of a piano with the sustain pedal down. Aggravated strings. Haunting melodic lines and tender harp playing. Relentlessly driving military themes.
In addition to the Osaka Castle score, this CD includes music from three other movies, Yagyu Bugeicho (a.k.a. Ninjitsu, a.k.a. Secret Scrolls), Yagyu Bugeicho: Soryu Hiken (a.k.a. Ninjitsu Part 2, a.k.a. Secret Scrolls Part 2 ) and Aru Kengo no Shogai (a.k.a. Samurai Saga, a.k.a. Life of an Expert Swordsman).