Keiko Abe

Dream of the Cherry Blossoms, for marimba

    Description by Joseph Stevenson

    Keiko Abe (pronounced "cake-oh ah-bay") is the reason why most of the best marimba music seems to have been written by Japanese composers; she is the pre-eminent marimbist of musical history. This composition seems to be her greatest personal contribution to the literature of her instrument (aside from the role she has played in commissioning new works from other composers).

    Abe's piece is based on the well-known Japanese song "Sakura (Cherry Blossoms)," which is often taken to be a traditional or folk song, which is isn't. But Abe adds some separation of phrases, rhythmic twists, and above all an active, imaginative accompanying line that makes this more than just a transcription of the song. Her intentions are well expressed by her title: This is a dream, and recognizeable but slightly "unreal" fragments of the song drift in and out. A very diverting listening experience.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2005 Signum UK 057
    2003 Audite 20005
    2000 Audite 97450
    2000 United Recordings 88088
    2000 BIS 1118
    2000 Equilibrium 33
    1999 Cala Records 77002
    1999 Wergo 60177
    SBMR / SBMR Records 001
    Koch Schwann 313412