CD Review “The Harpsichord in the New Millennium”, Fanfare, September/October issue 2010

“I would be grateful to be known as the critic who discovered Asako Hirabayashi. Her contemporary harpsichord music is ingenious, fanciful, diverse and unpretentious. And, just to add to the hyperbole, I admit I’ve never been a fan of the harpsichord, perhaps because it tends to be drowned out by the orchestra or just plain sounds muddy. Ms. Hirabayashi has changed all that for me and awakened me to the idea that a composer can reinvent an instrument, as if the instrument had been asleep for a few hundred years and been rekindled by the kiss of a prince, or as is the case here, a princess. ….. I do believe, however, we are entitled to our own personal, instinctive, emotional connection with music, whatever that is—my job is to try to steer listeners in the right direction, and, perhaps, ferret out some of the inevitable junk that piles up in any art form. With that in mind, give this surprising and flawless offering a try.”