Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2016 September 12 • Monday

The 430th Soundtrack of the Week is this stunning re-recording of Akira Ifukube's landmark score to Gojira (1954, Godzilla).

The original sound recording has been available on various releases for a long time but recording technology has come a long way in 60 years. While my first choice is always to hear the recording that was actually used in the film, with the composer conducting, re-recordings have become extremely welcome in recent years as dedicated and hard-working people have thrown themselves into the task of creating the best sounding presentations of important music that should be made preserved.

The conductor here is Kaoru Wada, a composer who apparently studied with Ifukube, and he leads the Japan Century Symphony Orchestra into a brilliant revitalization of one of Ifukube's masterpieces.

The re-recording also contains music that hasn't appeared on previous releases of the original soundtrack, I believe.

Not much to say about the music itself except that it's amazing and more of its beauty and power can be felt through this thrilling performance and recording. I've listened to this CD several times and words fail me. Years ago, though, I read something about the composer Jón Leifs and his piece "Hekla", which is inspired by a volcano in Iceland.

What I read sounded really exciting so I went out and got a CD that had "Hekla" and some other things by Leifs.

It's not that I didn't like it. I did. But I couldn't help thinking that it reminded me of Akira Ifukube's music, which was at least as interesting, at least as compelling and at least as innovative.