Michael Nyman

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Michael Nyman's "Collections" | Sequenza 21 review

Jan 27th, 2011

“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

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