Music from the Films of Michael Nyman for Solo Piano

Performed By: Joohyun Park

Distributed by: BuySoundtrax Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                The British composer, music critic and pianist Michael Nyman began his film scoring career in the early 1970s, often working with director Peter Greenaway.  Although his dramatically emotional compositions have been nominated for quite a few awards, he is best known for his creation of the musical score for The Piano.  On April 10, 2013, BuySoundtrax Records released Music from the Films of Michael Nyman for Solo Piano featuring a compilation of Nyman's compositions arranged and performed by Joohyun Park.

                Born in Kwang-Ju, South Korea, Joohyun Park began studying music at the age of six, eventually receiving Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Piano and a Bachelor's Degree in Contemporary Writing and Production.  Since then, she has worked as a score coordinator, pianist and assistant composer for such notable films as Drag Me to Hell, Priest, The Informers and Love Happens.  She has also appeared on a number of BuySoundtracks Records albums as a performer.

                For this album, Joohyun Park worked with Nyman's compositions for the films The Piano, Carrington, The Diary of Anne Frank, Drowning By the Numbers, Enemy Zero, A Zed and Two Noughts and Gattica.  Each of these films contain dramatic scores, despite the vast differences in genre, and I was excited to hear the interpretations of such tracks by Joohyun Park, whose works I enjoyed on The Music of Battlestar Galactica for Solo Piano.

                Unfortunately, after listening to Music from the Films of Michael Nyman for Solo Piano, I found that the music sounded a bit forced, as if the pianist was working too hard to make the music their own.  Listening to some of the originals by Nyman, I found they sounded vastly better and more natural.  Although I applaud some of the music and still feel that Joohyun Park is an amazing pianist, I'm afraid that I wasn't all that impressed by this album and wouldn't recommend it to fans of Nyman's work as I am certain they would much prefer his original compositions to these sub-par renditions.


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