<< -- 3 -- Malcolm Tattersall YEARNING FOR THE BELL
It's tempting and very enjoyable to let the whole hour's music drift like incense in the background, and there's nothing wrong with doing so, but there is as much in this music as there is in the Bach cello suites for those willing to take the time to listen deeply. It is a matter of looking at the titles and their symbolism, and listening carefully to one piece at a time. For instance, 'Yearning for the Bell', the series title and the title of several individual pieces, is actually, by implication, 'yearning for enlightenment'
[listen -- vol 7, track 4, 0:00-1:39].
I have mentioned Bach twice now, and not by chance: the honkyoku are largely anonymous pieces from an aural tradition, but are similar in date and religious impulse to the more reflective side of Bach's music. Perhaps closer in inspiration, and certainly closer in style, is some vocal music of the mediaeval Christian church, such as the hymns of Hildegard von Bingen.
What more need I say? The performances are exemplary, the sound is gorgeous, and the liner notes provide a good introduction to the origins and aesthetic of the music. Highly recommended.