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There's nothing like a little anime magic to enliven your classical concert experience. Anime lovers and general music fans have been flocking to the Beijing Concert Hall to indulge in the youthful fantasy and explore a vivid world of animation. To add more prestige to their experience, the concert is dedicated entirely to the music of a true master of the genre.
Anticipation is building high right before the concert rings in. Fans are coming for the idolatry of one name.
It's a night of unmistakable Joe Hisaishi, the Japanese composer who is credited as one of the anime industry's top musical contributors and whose compositions have become some of the very hallmarks of Japanese cartoons.
The concert mainly features works that Joe Hisaishi is best known for: his collaboration with renowned Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki.
In its representations, the full orchestra interpreted the titles Hisaishi composed for Miyazaki films including "Castle in the Sky", "Kiki's Delivery Service", and "Howl's Moving Castle".
The concert begins with the track "The Path of Wind" in "My Neighbor Totoro", a 1988 Japanese animated fantasy film that helped to bring Japanese animation into the global spotlight.
Listeners were then taken to the unbridled lyricism of the master of Japanese animation when the tune struck up for "Spirited Away". The 2001 Japanese animated fantasy-adventure film is one of the most successful films in Japanese history, and the film score won Joe Hisaishi several international awards.
One of the most striking feats of Hisaishi's music was incorporated into the concert discography --- Hayao Miyazaki's animated 1992 adventure "Porco Rosso", known in Japan as Crimson Pig.
What follows is a symphonic suite of Princess Mononoke, the 1997 epic fantasy feature and a landmark feat of Japanese animation from the acknowledged master of the genre.
Besides being the soundtrack composer for nearly all of Miyazaki's productions, Joe Hisaishi is also celebrated for his connection with another world renowned filmmaker, Takeshi Kitano. The bouncy tunes of "Kikujiro's Summer" is one of the most famous compositions by Hisaishi.
The concert's conductor Liu Jun believes that Joe Hisaishi's music has the power to wake up the kid inside everybody.
Liu Jun said, "Music plays a lively role in the world of animation. Hisaishi's music can move us from the deep spot of our mind. On top of that, his music is very simple, fluent and easy to understand, thus it's very popular among people of all ages. "
In a career spanning more than 30 years, Joe Hisaishi has built a solid global fan base, including a fervent and multi-generational following in China.
An audience member said, "I've watched films like 'Departures'. The film is very touching, so is the music. I was almost moved to tears."
"Hisaishi's music always makes people feel pure and sincere. After watching those animations, I feel that happiness is something that is all around us," said an audience member.
"He is such a world class musician. His music transmits a feeling of desolateness and vastness, and infuses us with imagination," said an audience member.
From intimate piano solos through grand showpieces for the whole ensemble, the flowing and soulful melodies led the audiences through a range of emotions: from pure and unconstrained joy to a tinge of underlying sadness.
Hisaishi's music has obviously taken on a life of its own. It now includes many widely known pieces, as was clearly seen in the avid reaction of the audience who were refreshed by the appreciation of the distinct musical imagery.