Michael Nyman

First & Foremost

First & Foremost

First & Foremost

Argo CD 443 903-2
1995

Songs for Tony: I began writing a saxophone quartet on New Year’s Eve, 1992. In the early afternoon of 5 January 1993 I was informed that my friend an business manager, Tony Simons, had died after a long and heroic fight against cancer. I immediately sat down and wrote the music which became the fourth song, in what became a memorial quartet. The previously composed music was scrapped as I decided to give each player, in turn, an ‘aria’ of their own.
The first song is a transcription of an acutal song -‘Mozart on Mortality’- which I wrote for the Composers Ensemble in the spring of 1992. The text, by Mozart himself, is all too appropriate; ‘I may not see another day’. The second song is adapted from the music for the scene in Jane Campion’s film The Piano, where the mute Ada (Holly Hunter) pushes her chief means of communication, her piano, overboard. This film was the last major deal that Tony negotiated on my behalf. The third song, a soprano sax solo, is based on a tune I composed some years ago, but was saving for a special occasion.

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