And you thought this was all an April Fool’s Day joke…
Now that we have the shocking announcement out of the way, let’s move on to this week’s piece by starting off with the source. If you’re like me at all, you probably haven’t heard of Suna no Utsuwa, a J-drama that aired in 2004 and revolves around murder and a pianist, subjects that aren’t normally bedfellows, but I’m told it works well here.
But if there is something about this show that I have heard of, it would be composer Akira Senju. I first became aware of how well Senju can channel drama and melancholy when he scored the Red Garden soundtrack (I rated it a rare masterpiece) though I’m sure most people really know him best through his Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood soundtrack (not as well-regarded by me, but I seem to be a minority opinion-holder). Through Suna no Utsuwa, Senju gives us a firm reminder of his ability to capture the mix of hope and despair, and nowhere is that displayed more brilliantly than in the piano concerto that he composed for the show (Speaking as a fanboy for piano concertos, one need only look at the number of piano concertos in anime to quickly see why J-drama OSTs are superior).
Piano Concerto ‘Shukumei’ 1st movement