– program notes
Next to a weather forecast the Japanese Meteorological Agency provides a blossom forecast as well: the sakura zensen (cherry blossom front). The Japanese pay close attention to this and turn out in large numbers at parks, shrines, and temples with family and friends to hold flower-viewing parties. The custom dates back many centuries in Japan.
Sakura (cherry blossom) is a Japanese icon and can be found everywhere. In art, on placemats, in literature and in music.
The folksong Sakura has numerous versions. Yuquijiro Yocoh composed variations on the Sakura theme and so created a beautiful solo piece; fragile, festive and very Japanese.
Bellefleur was written by the Dutch composer Pieter van der Staak. It’s a happy as well as melancholic tune and I find it a perfect fit with the meditative Sakura.
The artwork of the cd shows a fragment of a painting by Dutch painter Hennie van der Vegt. The cd comes with a hook so you can hang your miniature van der Vegt.