Via the BabyBlaueSeiten (a German-language progressive rock reviews site), I stumbled upon an unexpectedly pleasant surprise.
The Morgaua [String] Quartet (homepage in Japanese) is the chamber music side project of four top-tier Japanese orchestral musicians:
- Eiji Arai (1st violin) is the concertmaster of the Tokyo Philharmonic
- Tetsuo Tozawa (2nd violin) is the concertmaster of the (competing) Tokyo City Philharmonic
- Hisashi Ono (viola) is the principal violist of the NHK Symphony Orchestra
- Ryochi Fujimori (cello) is the principal cellist of the same orchestra
They started out recording Shostakovich’s string quartets for Denon (=Japanese Columbia) Records, and have recorded other classical music. Recently, they have recorded two albums of their own arrangements for string quartet of several progressive rock classics. Here is a YouTube video of one of their live concerts.
- “Dancing with the moonlit knight” by Genesis
- “Money” by Pink Floyd
- “And you and I” by Yes
- “In the court of the crimson king” by King Crimson
- “Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression” by ELP (Emerson, Lake, and Palmer)
- “21st Century schizoid man” by King Crimson
And here comes, as an encore, my favorite King Crimson tune, the edgy “Red””
/Kudos to Mrs. NCT for language assistance