Nobunaga's Ambition: Haouden
Catalog Number: KECH-1033
Released On: December 21, 1992
Composed By: Yoko Kanno
Arranged By: Yoko Kanno
Published By: Koei Co., Ltd.
Recorded At: KIM Studio and Sound Inn
Format: 1 CD

01 - Opening Chapter of the Supreme Ruler
02 - Forgotten Hero
03 - Blue Whitecaps
04 - Beyond the Clouds
05 - Magnificent Commander
06 - Flutes in the Rain
07 - Destructive Army
08 - Days of Sunshine
09 - Gathering of the Pleiades
10 - Country of Fortune
11 - Comet
12 - Forgotten Hero - Piano Reprise
Total Time:

The arranged album for Nobunaga's Ambition: Haouden (Legend of the Supreme Ruler) is an illustrative example of Kanno's general musical style for the Nobunaga's Ambition series. Switching for the most part between a European classical and traditional Eastern instrumental sound modernized with synth enhancement. Especially representative tracks include "Forgotten Hero," a soothing, mesmerizing elegy with melody performed by solo shakuhachi, for a distinctly Japanese touch, and background provided by a softly subdued layer of synth, and its CD ending piano solo reprise, given a more modern turn with rich, impressionistic harmonies and tighter melodic structure. Similarly, the lullaby "Beyond the Clouds" features a tranquil, affectionate flute melody and crystalline xylophone accompaniment, with slashes of koto strumming subtly in the background, providing a restrained Asian underpinning. On the other side, "Flutes in the Rain," quite contrary to the titular suggestion, is a Romantic, Schumann-esque piano and strings piece, the piano line deftly encircling the strings melody in complex figuration.

As an earlier work, Haouden sounds slightly limited compared to Kanno's anime scores but is certainly worth picking up if you manage to locate it somewhere, although the Ultimate Collection including this and Bushoufuunroku is obviously a better deal.

Reviewed by: James McCawley


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