The Piano (soundtrack)

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The Piano
Soundtrack album by Michael Nyman
Released 19 October 1993
Genre Soundtrack
Length 56:47 (USA)
60:40 (UK, USA remastered edition)
Label Virgin
Producer Michael Nyman
Michael Nyman chronology
Time Will Pronounce
1993
The Piano
1993
Michael Nyman for Yohji Yamamoto
1993
Singles from The Piano
  1. "The Heart Asks Pleasure First/The Promise"
    Released: 1993
  2. ""
    Released:
  3. ""
    Released:
  4. ""
    Released:
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Entertainment Weekly C+ link

The Piano is the original soundtrack, on the Virgin Records label, of the 1993 Academy Award-winning film The Piano. The original score was composed by Michael Nyman and is his twentieth album release. Despite being called a "soundtrack", this is a partial score re-recording, as Nyman himself also performs the piano on the album (whereas the film version is performed by lead actress Holly Hunter). The music is performed by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nyman with Michael Nyman Band members John Harle, David Roach and Andrew Findon performing the prominent saxophone work.

The album was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score (but lost to the score of Heaven & Earth) and the BAFTA Award for Best Score (lost to the score of Schindler's List).

The album design and illustration are by Dave McKean.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "To the Edge of the Earth"   4:06
2. "Big My Secret"   2:51
3. "A Wild and Distant Shore"   5:50
4. "The Heart Asks Pleasure First"   1:33
5. "Here to There"   1:02
6. "The Promise"   4:14
7. "A Bed of Ferns"   0:46
8. "The Fling"   1:28
9. "The Scent of Love"   4:16
10. "Deep into the Forest"   2:58
11. "The Mood That Passes Through You"   1:13
12. "Lost and Found"   2:24
13. "The Embrace"   2:36
14. "Little Impulse"   2:11
15. "The Sacrifice"   2:46
16. "I Clipped Your Wing"   4:34
17. "The Wounded"   2:26
18. "All Imperfect Things"   4:03
19. "Dreams of a Journey"   5:30
20. "The Heart Asks Pleasure First/The Promise" (Edit) 3:11

Note: Track 20 (The Heart Asks Pleasure First/The Promise) was not included on the American release until the remastered version in 2004, but included on the British version in the initial release.

The music has been re-recorded numerous times by different artists, and became the basis of Nyman's 1994 composition, The Piano Concerto which debuted in 1994. Perhaps the most unusual rerecording is by conductor Bill Broughton and the Orchestra of the Americas—an orchestral version sans piano. "Here to There", a saxophone solo, has become something of a staple for contemporary classical saxophonists.

Two additional solo piano pieces, "The Attraction of the Pedalling Ankle", which is based on Frédéric Chopin's Mazurka Op. 7/i, and "Deep Sleep Playing" are featured in the film, the former in scenes 51, 57, and 88, and the latter in scene 100. While not on the album, they are included in the published sheet music.

Several of the pieces from the soundtrack were used in Alexander McQueen's Fall/Winter 2006 fashion show.

The Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish made a cover of "The Heart Asks Pleasure First" for their album Dark Passion Play that includes lyrics written by Nightwish composer and keyboardist, Tuomas Holopainen, but the band did not receive permission to release it on time for the album's release. However, the song was still played live via playback as the outro to the final concert of the Dark Passion Play World Tour held in Helsinki, Finland on 19 September 2009.[1] On 15 December 2009, Jarmo Lautamäki, a Nightwish crew member, confirmed on his Facebook page that Nyman finally gave permission to release the cover. It will be released in 2 March 2012 as a B-Side in their upcoming single, The Crow, the Owl and the Dove.

In December 2010 Italian rock noir band Belladonna release "Let There Be Light", a single written in collaboration with Michael Nyman and based on "The Heart Asks Pleasure First". Michael Nyman himself plays piano on the track.[2]

Personnel[edit]

Music composed, arranged, conducted and produced by Michael Nyman

Music published by Michael Nyman Ltd./Chester Music Ltd.

with

  • Conducted by Michael Nyman

The main theme in The Piano is based entirely on a traditional Scottish melody titled "Gloomy Winter's Noo Awa"[3]

References[edit]