Nobunaga's Ambition: Tenshouki
Catalog Number: KECH-1077
Released On: December 19, 1994
Composed By: Yoko Kanno
Arranged By: Yoko Kanno
Published By: Koei Co., Ltd.
Recorded At: The Warsaw Philharmonic Hall
Format: 1 CD

01 - The Warhawk
02 - Distant Fields
03 - On the Lake of the Crescent Moon
04 - Summer Gale
05 - Spring Waves
06 - Haouden Suite -Warsaw Edition-
07 - The Cloudy Path
08 - The Wind Orchid
09 - Flowery Wind
10 - Encampment Under the Moon
11 - Battlefield of Light
12 - Yonder Side of the Dream
13 - Distant Blue
Total Time:

The arranged album for Nobunaga's Ambition Tenshouki (Chronicles of Heaven) laid claim to the dual honors of being the first game music project for which the Warsaw Philharmonic ever performed, and Yoko Kanno's swan song for Koei, offering perhaps her best and certainly most orchestrally mature work during her tenure with the game company.

Unlike the other entries in the Nobunaga series, which featured an equal emphasis on both indigenous Easter folk and Western symphonic, Tenshouki focuses solely on an orchestral setting. Within that setting lies Kanno's typical dexterity in touching on moods and motifs ranging across the spectrum of classical history, without actually copying anything or sounding derivative. You'll hear an echo of Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries within the stentorian "Haouden Suite" (a rearranged medley of the main themes from Haouden), an ode to Copland's Appalachian Spring in the "Battlefield of Light," a no to Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathrustra in "Encampment Under the Moon," a graceful dancing Chopin-esque air in "The Wind Orchid," a resonance with Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet in "Spring Waves," and a light Stravinskian touch in the whirlwind opening track "The Warhawk" sprightly, cunning flute melody dancing across a fiery burst-pocked brass undercurrent in quintuple meter.

Mindful of the Eastern nature of the series, Kanno also brings forth a spiritual, native Japanese strain, expressed symphonically. "On the Lake of the Crescent Moon" paints an exquisite image of Asian harmonic ambience with a wavering, iridescent stringscape, pentatonic cello melody and wood block percussion. The sweetly nostalgic, aptly named "Cloudy Path" solo piano piece, and soothing lullaby beauty of a "Distant Blue," sung enchantingly by Akino Arai, provide even more depth to Kanno's last musical enchantment of the world of Nobunaga.

Reviewed by: James McCawley


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