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Given the lack of good koto and shamisen players in some parts of our benighted nation, I have found that one of the best ways to practice sankyoku is by playing along with recordings. I am wondering if anybody can suggest good sankyoku recordings for playing along. To be useful in this context, the pieces must be uncut and must track with the standard "green" notation. Here's what I've found useful so far:
1. The entire 4-CD Yamaguchi Goro set on Victor - I use these for playing along with Hagi no Tsuyu, Iso Chidori, Tama Gawa, and the absolutely beautiful rendition of Zangetsu.
2. "The Art of the Japanese Koto, Shakuhachi, and Shamisen" on ARC - good for Shin Musumi Dojoji.
3. "Japon - Sankyoku" Ensemble Yonin no Kai on Ocora - OK alternate for Zangetsu.
4. "Koto Music of Japan" - Zumi-Kai on LaserLight - good for Rokudan (slow enough for beginning students), good for Chidori, though there are a couple of places to watch out for alternate rhythm.
5. "Sankyoku" - King Record Co. - excellent for playing along with on Yaigoromo and Hagi no Tsuyu. This is the version of Yaegoromo that I like to practice with the most often because although it is not the greatest performance ever (nowhere near as good as on the Yamaguchi Goro CDs) the tempo is a bit slower, the melody is very pronounced, and the shakuhachi is soft.
6. "Japon - Jiuta" - Ensemble Yonin no Kai on Ocora - another alternate for Yaegoromo, worth playing with.
So any other suggestions please -- I am always looking for CDs like this for myself and my students.
I am not sure who the players are, but I have a recording of Rokudan where the shakuhachi and koto are panned hard left and right so you can simply adjust the balance on any stereo and drop out one of the instruments. Great for practice. I only have Rokudan, but it was probably taken off a practice CD.