John Williams, Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman evoke autumnal Asian beauty.
This Japanese period epic almost became John Williams' latest collaboration with Steven Spielberg, until the director decided to helm Munich and executively produce Geisha instead.
The score does reunite Williams with international superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma, however, for whom he wrote his 1994 cello concerto. They also provided the music for Seven Years in Tibet, while Ma's cello was the emotional heart of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Here the two artists bring their unmistakable elegant refinement to the world of the traditional geisha, with music ranging from the gracefully austere Sayuri's Theme though the tender flute-led Confluence to the more tormented writing emphasising the conflict of the drama.
Traditional Japanese instruments the koto and shakuhachi bring appropriate colours to the score, while violinist Itzhak Perlman, who performed the unforgettable solos on Williams' Schindler's List soundtrack, adds further emotional richness to an often melancholy yet beautiful autumnal creation.