Like some of the online streams of Kurosawa’s movies that I have liked to recently, the following will be something that is strictly speaking not entirely legal. Bear that in mind as you read through this post.
Before his untimely death in 1955, Fumio Hayasaka wrote the music to a good number of Kurosawa’s films, including Seven Samurai and Rashomon. While some of the scores are nothing short of being exceptional, the original recordings themselves are unfortunately often of relatively poor sound quality, and therefore not really made for an optimal listening experience.
This is why in 1991 the soundtracks to Seven Samurai and Rashomon were re-recorded (by whom, I do not know) and released on a CD in Japan. The pressing, however, was never very large, and the CD is now practically impossible to get hold of.
Fortunately for those who have not been able to get hold of the CD, the Cineville blog, which specialises in out-of-print soundtracks, has now posted a link to a RAR packet that includes MP3 files of the CD (with the bitrate of 192kbs). The link to the original Cineville blog post can be found here (scroll down to the bottom to find the direct download link). I warmly recommend you to check out the whole of Cineville, as well, for it is full of interesting soundtracks and links to other similar sites.
Listening now to the soundtrack, I must personally say that it is somewhat strange to hear these pieces in such a good sound quality. At the same time, what adds to the slightly weird feeling is that while the recordings are truthful to the original compositions, the end result is, of course, different from the original score. The difference is not huge, but the odd note here and there does disturb your ear, at least if you have listened to the soundtrack of Seven Samurai as often as I have in the past years. I suppose it will take getting used to.
Of course, if you are interested in Kurosawa soundtracks in general, also make sure to check the soundtracks section of AKN&I.