THE PIANO - The Composer's Cut Series - Volume III
Music composed and performed by Michael Nyman
"The purpose of the Composer's Cut series is to present music from my soundtracks in a state of continuous evolution. As I transferred particular cues from film to concert hall both musical structures changed and performance styles developed, enabling the music, perhaps, to realise its true potential. So these recordings represent the Michael Nyman Band's state-of-performance as of spring 2005." – MN August 2005
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.