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Symphony Live in Istanbul – Kitaro Review

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For Kitaro’s music there’s one rule that always apply; a bigger stage equals better sound. His musical expression cannot be fully justified in a studio. It’s made for grand settings and major live performances. An example of this is Symphony Live In Istanbul. The classical Kitaro songs have never sounded better, and there’s new material as well that will inspire both new and old fans.

The album was recorded at the Halic Congress Center in Istanbul, Turkey over two evenings in March of 2014. This is Kitaro’s first-ever live recording with a 38-piece symphonic orchestra, though we have seen some great live albums from him in the past too (I’m especially thinking about Daylight, Moonlight: Live In Yakushiji and Live in America – which are all very dear to me).

Still a Superstar
A live album is living, breathing thing. So it has all the hiss and noises of a big room filled with people. Some like that, some don’t. On the positive side, both the volume of the room and the audience clapping add life to the recording. It’s almost like being there. In terms of recording, Symphony Live in Istanbul is great (there’s a 24-bit/96kHz version available here – so you can play it on your best head phones).

Heaven & Earth, Silk Road and Thinking of You are all beautiful beyond words, and the orchestra is doing an amazing job adding a fresh perspective on the classics. I very much enjoy the new song Kokoro (Part II). It has a great build-up and a wonderful flow.

In short; Kitaro’s Symphony Live in Istanbul is one of this year’s best albums. Both the classics and the new material sound divine. It’s obvious to all that Kitaro is still a superstar in every respect.

Score:95/100 – See how I rate music here

Play the album on:

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About the album, Kitaro says:

“I am extremely grateful that my dream of performing in Istanbul finally came true. It was a once in a lifetime experience and in addition to my many experiences; I met a host of great people from Istanbul and the neighboring countries. As a remembrance of my amazing music caravan and as a tribute to those I encountered along the way, I recorded this musical experience and performance as a CD. It is my gift to in Istanbul and around the world, to experience and enjoy.” – Kitaro

The track Kokoro (Part II) can be heard here: