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Notes and Editorial Reviews
Michael Nyman declared himself surprised by the Romanticism of his score for the film The Piano. And yet in this new disc of The Piano Concerto, the accompanying works spell out clearly that Nyman has been a Romantic composer for some time. The Piano soundtrack has been in the top ten since its release in 1993. Nyman reworked the score to produce a more-or-less standard piano concerto of greater technical demand for the pianist Kathryn Stott which, together with Nyman’s remarkable MGV, was recorded in 1993 for Argo with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Whether you go for this new recording with Peter Lawson and the RPO or Argo’s depends on whether you want the accompanying works, in this case seven reworkings of film-score numbers. The
recorded sound of the RPO disc is superior in its astonishing clarity, emphasising details of instrumental colouring that would never be heard in the concert hall. It’s a pity, however, that Peter Lawson’s keyboard sound is clangy. Jonathan Carney conducts and is the passionate violin soloist in Nyman’s hauntingly beautiful ‘Miserere Paraphrase’ in On the Fiddle.
Performance: 5 (out of 5), Sound: 4 (out of 5)
-- Annette Morreau, BBC Music Magazine Read less
Works on This Recording
The Piano Concerto, for piano & orchestra by Michael Nyman
Peter Lawson (Piano)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Length: 32 Minutes 7 Secs.
Prospero's Books: Cornfield by Michael Nyman
Written: 1991; United Kingdom
Length: 6 Minutes 57 Secs.
Prospero's Books: Miranda by Michael Nyman
Written: 1991; United Kingdom
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
Imaginative Reworking of Film Music September 7, 2014
By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews
"All of the material contained in this recording is derived from film scores written by English composer Michael Nyman. The major work consists of 4 sections from the movie The Piano, re-worked into a form of concerto and running approximately 33 minutes. I think there are some jazz nuances detectable in this work, but the most striking characteristic is a clear minimalist impulse and an overall atmosphere akin to that of the New Age genre. Nyman's scoring for this piece attempts to portray various impressions and atmospherics, rather than definitive, core themes built around a solid structure like that found in most true piano concertos. Indeed, my first impression was that of symphonic mood music, with its repeating passages and the strikingly disembodied piano score overlaid on the orchestra's baseline. Overall- quite effective. The second work, On the Fiddle, is a collection of excerpts from 3 films for which Michael Nyman composed musical scores. The 3 pieces have been modified for solo violin and orchestra, the soloist here being Jonathan Carney, who also conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on this recording. Again, one encounters a form of minimalism, recurring passages of high lyrical qualities in which the solo violin takes the lead over the somewhat subdued role of the orchestra. The final selection, Prospero's Books, is purely orchestral, with an even more pronounced minimalist character, perhaps even incorporating rhythms and riffs most often encountered in rock music. In summary, the RPO does a beautiful job with Michael Nyman's music, imparting a sense of mysticism and beauty, and making this recording a distinct pleasure to hear."
Terrific February 13, 2013
By William Schneider (Yaphank, NY) See All My Reviews
"This composer is new to me so when Arkiv had a sale I tried this cd.All I can say is great.The music is exciting and compelling.The sound is wonderful on the cd and the price was right.The music is definitely modern but melodic and beautiful"