|1. Memorial (2004 Digital Remaster)|
|2. Miserere Paraphrase (2004 Digital Remaster)|
|3. Book Depository (2004 Digital Remaster)|
|4. Coupling (2004 Digital Remaster)|
|5. Miserere (2004 Digital Remaster)|
Nyman’s approach to instrumentation throughout the five tracks that make up this collection is eclectic as ever... bringing to mind everything from Bach, to Wagner, to Mozart to Britton, with sidelines in avant-garde baroque-pop and free form jazz. The epic opening is one of Nyman’s all time greatest works of chamber music, utilizing a plethora of instruments from brass, to woodwind, to string, and pianos, as well as more traditional folk elements and even some electronic samples. But none of this is really important. What is important is the overall emotional impact that Nyman’s work has on us, and the conjuring of images from the film within out minds that we decipher from the music. The harmonious symbiosis between the director and composer is one of the greatest of cinema history, up there with Hitchcock and Herman, Leone and Morricone, Lynch and Badalamente, etc.
The other compositions are either much more low-key affairs - used to underline the various scenes of dramatic tension featured in the film - or take reference points from the opening Memorial to create a new movement. This works much more clearly when seeing the film whilst hearing the music... though due to Nyman’s proficiency with compositional skills, the music can also be enjoyed by itself. Track two has various layers of choral choir arrangements, which would act as something of a precursor to the many Greek choruses featured in the duo’s respective follow up Prospero’s Books, whilst Book Depository features a wall of low-key strings and buzzing horns that creates a wonderfully noirish melody. The consistency of the record is maintained by Nyman’s skilful production/conduction, whilst the inclusion of soprano Sarah Leonard on a number of more intimate pieces is a stroke of musical genius.
This is a wonderful work of musical composition; probably Nyman’s all time greatest (alongside Prospero and Wonderland, which are also excellent). The music is emotionally bombastic, though tender and heartfelt... creating a wonderful companion piece to the excellent film. Many have had problems with Greenaway’s work due to the graphic nature of the plot... though that is clearly not a problem here. Nyman has, as ever, created a lush orchestration of ornate compositions that lift the spirit, warm the heart and occasionally, send shivers down your spine.
This product's forum
Active discussions in related forums
Search Customer Discussions