contemporary classical modern classical music piano review

Hideyuki Hashimoto – Under Review

Beautiful intimate piano vignettes, inspired by Spring.

What does Hideyuki Hashimoto sound like?

Warm piano vignettes to get cosy with.

The review of Hideyuki Hashimoto – Under

Moderna Records has a gift for finding some of the best contemporary classical pianists and Hideyuki Hashimoto is their latest find. His style is to create soft, warm and melodic pieces that let each note breathe. Hideyuki says the release was inspired by the season of Spring and I can hear and feel why.

photo of Hideyuki Hashimoto
Hideyuki Hashimoto

For this EP, there are five tracks that all evoke a Ghibli / Joe Hisaishi piano ballad feel. From the romantic trickle of high-octave pitter-patters of ‘Sou’ to the restful chords of ‘Bloom’, each track is unrushed but concise. Only the ambient sparseness of ‘Clear’ is over the three-minute mark but they all feel fully formed. This is because Hideyuki starts most tracks off gently, builds to a fully formed melody and then lets the song dissipate. The title track ‘Under’ and closing track ‘Turn’ both play an understated, underdog vibe with their melodies. Each track has a rousing curiosity to it, like a cat’s ears perking up, or a sunrise. All the songs are beautifully performed and composed.

A special mention should be made to the sound design and intimate recording of the piano. Not only can you hear the constant crack of the piano and pedals, which in ‘Clear’ sounds like a drum loop at times, but you can also hear the hammer wires. Some of the piano notes sound like they’ve been hit by wire brushes and it’s a really satisfying sound. The overall mix is intensely personal and up close whilst retaining an ‘in-room’ quality and I’ve always been a sucker for that.

Brief but beautiful, Hideyuki Hashimoto’s ‘Under’ is a lovely EP. Fans of certain Icelandic and Japanese composers will feel right at home with its delicate melancholy and dash of hopeful optimism. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Hashimoto in the future and diving into his independently released back catalogue too.

Recommended track: Sou

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Hideyuki Hashimoto - Under



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