After Jane Campion's "The Piano" astonished me with its moving story, which seemed closer to a timeless fable than a corset drama set in 1855, its gorgeous landscape, and its incredible characters, I had to get a copy of Michael Nyman's soundtrack.
To start with, I am outraged that the composer never got an Oscar for his work and especially for that movie. Indeed, he managed to create not only an incredible music, but also a second language to Ada, Holly Hunter's character, as she expresses through her piano her emotions and feelings to the other characters and viewers. For as she is mute, Ada's piano becomes her body, soul, and voice. And with the orchestral soundtrack played during the movie, this gives to the story a musical success that people haven't forgotten.
According to the leaflet in the album, we get to hear in the soundtrack Michael Nyman play the piano while conducting members of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, and a team of wind-instrument musicians such as John Harle, Andrew Findon and David Roach playing instruments such as Saxophone and Flute. Alongside it, Michael Nyman get to write about his creative intentions, along with a nice theory as to how Ada might have invented her music.
Of the tracks that I liked, I adored so much all of them that I have difficulty in finding out which ones are my favorites. But if I were to keep five tracks of them in my soul, it would be "To the edge of the Earth", "Big My Secret", "The Heart asks Pleasure First", "The Embrace" and "All Imperfect Things".
As a last note to anybody who loved this album, I am glad that Michael Nyman released and made a Concerto out of the Piano soundtrack. It was a good way for him to compile and unite together some of the tracks and create an excellent concerto which he recorded in 1997 with the Ulster Orchestra. Another way for him to immortalize his wonderful soundtrack.
This CD is excellent for relaxing and entertaining piano music from a modern composer. You do not need to have seen the film 'The Piano' to appreciate the beautiful melodies especially 'The Heart seeks pleasure first' which is the best track in my opinion.
This soundtrack is what really helped me notice the music of Michael Nyman and it is still one of my favourite works by the composer. Although pieces such as The Heart Asks Pleasure First are in many ways over-played in the media, I think the score is masterfully effective both alongside the film and as stand-alone "classical" music. Minimalist and often simplistic in many ways, there is a lot of vulnerable and raw emotion expressed in this music and a highly original, signature sound and orchestration that keeps this score popular as film music and as lighter modern / contemporary classical music. My favourite tracks would have to be Lost and Found and Big My Secret - this one in particular I often play myself on piano.
My theory goes that most movies named simply 'The *****' are worth watching. This masterpiece proves my theory in spades. A straightforward storyline with a twist or two, a sumptuous and haunting musical accompaniment, and immense acting drags you unceremoniously through every emotion known to man - elation, fear, humour, disguist - and then some. Ensure you'll have no interruptions for two hours, don't eat anything with wrappings that rustle, sit back and be awe-inspired.
I heard this album a few years ago at a friends, and its due to this that I decided to take up learning to play the piano. I wanted to own the album myself and managed to find it on Amazon. I play this a lot both in the car and whilst meditating or just wanting to listen to music.
Great music, great purchase. I was not sure if to purchase a new one or used one, so finally I decided to purchase the use one for a smaller price. So I am so happy that I got great music for a low price. I am not a music expert, I just know I like it.