“This album, Collections: Film Music Photography, features a DVD of a short film shot by Nyman, 50000 Photos Can’t Be Wrong, a booklet of his photography titled Cine Opera, and a CD retrospective, Portrait of a Label. The film and photography are visually striking (and the film contains music not found on the disc), but I will focus on the CD in this review.
Portrait of a Label, curated by Nyman himself, consists of one track each from the first 16 releases on his label… The best tracks are the instrumentals, performed by the Michael Nyman Band. Some of these, such as Chasing Sheep is Best Left to Shepherds, are rerecordings of earlier pieces (this was part of Nyman’s 1982 score to Peter Greenaway’s The Draughtsman’s Contract), so the retrospective covers not only the past five years, but a majority of Nyman’s career.
While these pieces stand out for their Baroque flavor and forward propulsion, they border on too much similarity, so they are broken up by several vocal pieces…
A few slower and more introspective pieces, such as The Mistress from the score to Laurence Dunmore’s The Libertine and To the Edge of the Earth from The Piano, have a heartbreaking beauty…
Collections can also be a starting place for someone becoming interested in contemporary music. Nyman’s style – a little Baroque, a little Minimalist – would be appealing to many.” (Adam Scott Neal)
Full review: http://www.sequenza21.com/cdreviews/2011/01/michael-nyman-collections/
More details: http://www.mnrecords.com/product3.html?cd=MNRCD204
The upcoming Smith Quartet CD on Signum, a collection of commissions and world premiere recordings all centered on the theme of ‘Dance,’ will feature a Michael Nyman piece called “Tango.”
The programme is a veritable ‘who’s-who’ of contemporary composition, also including works from Graham Fitkin, Jon Lord, Michael Finnissy and Django Bates, among many others.
Release date: 31 January, 2011
Taken from the Smith Quartet “Dance” CD booklet:
(From Never Forever)
In the Summer of 2007 at the end of an intensive and exhausting few days recording Michael’s opera Love Counts, he produced a “Tango” for string quartet written for the film Never Forever by the Korean director Gina Kim. The piece made an immediate impression on me and when the Smith Quartet was invited to tour South Korea in the Autumn of 2008 I asked Michael if we could have a copy to take along. Its associations with Korean film culture and, its raw, direct emotional expression, made it an obvious encore choice for us and not surprisingly, it was a big hit over there.—Ian Humphries