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Michael Nyman - The Piano

Michael Nyman - The Piano

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1. The Heart Asks Pleasure First
2 To the Edge of the Earth
3. A Wild and Distant Shore
4. The Promise
5. Here to There
6. Big My Secret
7. Silver-Fingered Fling
8. Lost and Found
9. The Embrace
10. The Mood That Passes Through You
11. All Imperfect Things
12. The Wounded
13. Dreams of a Journey
14. The Heart Asks Pleasure First/The Promise

Label: MN Records
Cat No: MNRCD107

Michael Nyman’s score for Jane Campion’s 1993 film The Piano is one of the most successful film soundtracks of all time. The film itself won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival in 1993 and went on to win several Oscars at the 1994 Academy Awards. Holly Hunter’s role as Ada the film’s central role was that of an elective mute who chose to communicate via her playing. If having the music feature so prominently in a film was unusual, for the music to additionally convey the dialogue of the main character is unique. The soundtrack of the film went on to become a multi million seller.

Perhaps surprisingly for music with such strong ties to its original source many of the pieces from The Piano were subsequently used in a variety of other settings in film, television and advertising making it some of the most performed/frequently heard orchestral music of the last twenty years. The concert suite for The Piano as performed by The Michael Nyman Band also became a staple of the band’s concert repertoire and has been performed all over the world with the composer taking the roles of pianist and conductor.

It is this expanded form of the soundtrack that Nyman chose to record as his own definitive edition in Abbey Road studios in April 2005. The piano pieces again form a dialogue, though here the dialogue is purely musical between pianist and orchestra rather having the piano pieces act as speech substitute as they did in the film. The resulting album is a wonderful example of film music transformed to a distinctive stand alone concert work.

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