Fukushima 50

Taro Iwashiro

 
" Tarô Iwashiro has really outdone himself. "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the regular release


Fukushima 50 is a 2020 Japanese drama, directed by Setsurō Wakamatsu and starring Koichi Sato, Ken Watanabe and Hidetaka Yoshioka. The movie tells the dramatization of the workers at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, who prevented a nuclear disaster, caused by the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The score was composed by the great Japanese composer Tarô Iwashiro.

The album opens with a Symphonic Suite, which is basically a hymn with great interplay between the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Choristers of the Temple Church, cellist Yoko Hasegawa, violinist Ryo Goto (his debut for film) and woodwinds by Eliza Marshall, who regularly works on film music.

The 1st Chapter: All Life is a hymn that introduces the wonderful main theme and rich orchestral writing by Iwashiro, also featuring mesmerizing performances by the choir, violinist and cellist. Likewise, the 2nd Chapter: A Gift continues this approach, yet more soothing, and is especially rewarding because of the continuing singing of the choir phrase hallelujah, supported by orchestral layers and introducing warm Celtic woodwind performances by Eliza Marshall. The 3rd Chapter: Operation Tomodachi focuses on the piano and soft military drums. Closure comes with the 4th Chapter: Home Country, an encompassing musical highlight for the solo cello and violin in interplay with the orchestra, with some fine tremolo in their playing towards the end.

The majestic symphonic suite is much more lyrical than the actual score, but it is often closely reflecting key elements and the nature of the score to Fukushima 50. It does sound like a rather sentimental work, both alluring to the sense of hope and despair. I have not been able to ascertain the use in the actual film, but given my experience with music for films of this size and scope that are, based on true events, makes me fear for an undesired sentiment.

Fukushima 50 is a score that sends shivers down the spine, is full of strong orchestral and solo performances, a memorable theme and a great dramatic scope. Tarô Iwashiro has really outdone himself.




Tracklist
1. Symphonic Suite F: 1st Chapter: All Life - Ryu Goto & Yoko Hasegawa & Taro Iwashiro & The Choristers of the Temple Church & Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (5:48)
2. Symphonic Suite F: 2nd Chapter: A Gift - Eliza Marshall, The Choristers of the Temple Church, Taro Iwashiro & Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (4:31)
3. Symphonic Suite F: 3rd Chapter: Operation Tomodachi - Taro Iwashiro & Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (4:14)
4. Symphonic Suite F: 4th Chapter: Home Country Forevermore - Ryu Goto, Yoko Hasegawa, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra & Taro Iwashiro (5:33)
5. Pride And Fear - Yoko Hasegawa, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra & Taro Iwashiro (3:25)
6. The Last Atonement - Yoko Hasegawa, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra & Taro Iwashiro (3:17)
7. 50 Wills - Yoko Hasegawa, Taro Iwashiro & Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (2:30)
8. In Memoriam F (3:26)
9. Unseen Existence α - The Choristers of the Temple Church, Eliza Marshall, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra & Taro Iwashiro (2:42)
10. The F Refuge Camp - Taro Iwashiro & Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (1:35)
11. Be With Danny Boy - Alex McSweeney, Lucas Byng, The Choristers of the Temple Church, Ryu Goto, Eliza Marshall, Taro Iwashiro, Naomi Nakahara & Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (4:23)
12. Nobody Comes, But The Flower Blooms - Yoko Hasegawa, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra & Taro Iwashiro (2:03)
13. Dear 50 - Ryu Goto, Yoko Hasegawa, The Choristers of the Temple Church, Taro Iwashiro & Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (4:29)

Total duration: 47:55



(written 24-03-2020)
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(total of 2 votes - average 4.25/5)

Released by

Universal (regular release 2020)