Nyman: ‘The Piano’ Concerto; On the Fiddle; Prospero’s Books

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WORKS: ‘The Piano’ Concerto; On the Fiddle; Prospero’s Books
PERFORMER: Peter Lawson (piano), RPO/Jonathan Carney (violin)
Michael Nyman declared himself surprised by the Romanticism of his score for the film The Piano. And yet in this new disc of The Piano Concerto, the accompanying works spell out clearly that Nyman has been a Romantic composer for some time. The Piano soundtrack has been in the top ten since its release in 1993. Nyman reworked the score to produce a more-or-less standard piano concerto of greater technical demand for the pianist Kathryn Stott which, together with Nyman’s remarkable MGV, was recorded in 1993 for Argo with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Whether you go for this new recording with Peter Lawson and the RPO or Argo’s depends on whether you want the accompanying works, in this case seven reworkings of film-score numbers. The recorded sound of the RPO disc is superior in its astonishing clarity, emphasising details of instrumental colouring that would never be heard in the concert hall. It’s a pity, however, that Peter Lawson’s keyboard sound is clangy. Jonathan Carney conducts and is the passionate violin soloist in Nyman’s hauntingly beautiful ‘Miserere Paraphrase’ in On the Fiddle. Annette Morreau