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Boomkat Product Review:
Breaking into certain areas of global ethnic music can be a fairly intimidating prospect at the best of times - something further complicated by the fact that there's never a shortage of different compilations looking to present you with an introduction to a particular instrument or musical style. The Nonesuch Explorer series is a good deal more reliable than most though, and once again it proves itself to be a great portal into a potentially very difficult corner of the music world. Koto Classics is helmed by Shinichi Yuize, one of the world's leading koto performers, and an accomplished composer for the instrument. Over the course of five pieces (two of which feature vocal accompaniment) Yuize maps out the history of the instrument, all beautifully recorded and expertly performed. The disc also benefits from the invaluable inclusion of extensive liner notes, offering some welcome insights into the genesis of the pieces themselves and the instrument itself.