|Album Title:||Cello Music for Cello & Piano|
|Artist:||MindlessFudge Music, LLC|
|Release Type:||Arrangement Album|
|Release Date:||April 2017|
Review: Cello & Piano duo Joshua Bouchard & Elspeth Reed gave us a heads up about their recently released compilation of rearranged Ghibli tunes. Ever fans of Ghibli music and aspiring artists, we at Anime Instrumentality were happy to share our thoughts.
“Anime Music for Cello & Piano” comprises 16 rearrangements of classic Ghibli favorites spanning Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind to Howl’s Moving Castle. The opening to “Promise of the World” promises (!) us a great adventure – the tender piano opening effortlessly transitions into the main refrain as the cello soars over the piano’s flowing notes. The duo also display a more playful side in selections like “Lipstick Message” (Kiki’s Delivery Service) and “Like the Breeze” (The Cat Returns). My personal favorite is their rendition of “Ashitaka & San” (Princess Mononoke). The full-bodied voice of the cello suits the piece’s grandiose and bittersweet mood perfectly.
Joshua and Elspeth are skilled performers who make it obvious that abundant work has been put into rehearsal. On the cello, Joshua is on point with intonation and tone. He carries the melodic line with confidence, drawing forth beautiful sounds from his cello with ease. Elspeth is the ever reliable backbone of each piece as she fleshes out the music. The moments where the piano comes to the forefront are a reminder that Elspeth is also a formidable musician who plays with thought and sensitivity. Always responsive to each others’ cues, the two work together harmoniously.
If I were to voice any minor quibbles, it would be that the arrangements stick closely to the source material – the album is better described as a collection of transcriptions rather than arrangements. At times, I found myself wishing that Josh and Elspeth had imparted more personal flair to the pieces they performed so well.
All in all, MindlessFudge’s first release is a pleasant album that makes for relaxing background listening. For those who want to check it out, the album can be found on Soundcloud. If you’re curious about the artists, check out MindlessFudge’s website to see Josh and Elspeth enjoying themselves during the recording session.
Keep at it MindlessFudge! We hope to hear more from you in the future!