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The Piano – Big my Secret (Michael Nyman) with sheet music
Michael Nyman: The Composer
Michael Laurence Nyman, CBE (born 23 March 1944) is an English composer of minimalist music, pianist, librettist and musicologist, known for numerous film scores (many written during his lengthy collaboration with the filmmaker Peter Greenaway), and his multi-platinum soundtrack album to Jane Campion‘s The Piano. He has written a number of operas, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat; Letters, Riddles and Writs; Noises, Sounds & Sweet Airs; Facing Goya; Man and Boy: Dada; Love Counts; and Sparkie: Cage and Beyond. He has written six concerti, five string quartets, and many other chamber works, many for his Michael Nyman Band. He is also a performing pianist. Nyman prefers to write opera over other forms of music.
Nyman was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours.
Nyman was awarded an honorary doctorate (DLitt) from The University of Warwick on 30 January 2007. At the degree ceremony, The University of Warwick Brass Society and Chamber Choir, conducted by Paul McGrath, premiered a specially composed procession and recession fanfare by Nyman.
In 2015, he was awarded the Golden Duke for Lifetime Achievement, the special award of the 6th Odessa International Film Festival.
Michael Nyman: The Piano
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.
The main theme is based on a traditional Scottish melody titled “Gloomy Winter’s Noo Awa”.
“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.
1. The Heart Asks Pleasure First
2 To the Edge of the Earth
3. A Wild and Distant Shore
4. The Promise
5. Here to There
6. Big My Secret
7. Silver-Fingered Fling
8. Lost and Found
9. The Embrace
10. The Mood That Passes Through You
11. All Imperfect Things
12. The Wounded
13. Dreams of a Journey
14. The Heart Asks Pleasure First/The Promise
Music composed, arranged, conducted and produced by Michael Nyman
Music published by Michael Nyman Ltd./Chester Music Ltd.
- Members of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
- John Harle, soprano, alto saxophone
- David Roach, soprano, alto saxophone
- Andrew Findon, tenor, baritone saxophone, flute, alto flute
- Michael Nyman, piano
- Conducted by Michael Nyman
- Produced by Michael Nyman
- Engineer: Michael J. Dutton
- Executive Engineer: Malcolm Luker
- Assistant Engineer: Jamie Luker
- Recorded at Arco Studios, Munich
- Mixed and edited at Kitsch Studios, Brussels
- Post-production at Abbey Road
- Design and illustration by Dave McKean
- Photography by Grant Matthews and Polly Walker
- Artist representative for Michael Nyman: Nigel Barr
The main theme in The Piano is based entirely on a traditional Scottish melody titled “Gloomy Winter’s Noo Awa”.
Download Michael the complete Nyman’s sheet music from our Library.
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