Piano Music from the Movies
Music Composed by: Various Artists
Performed by: Stephen Edwards
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I have always been a sucker for a well-played piano. In junior high, I used to beg one of my friends to sit at the piano at band class and play for us. He could play classical music and a slamming rendition of the Hill Street Blues Theme. As an adult, I still love listening to the piano and find myself particularly drawn toward movie film scores which feature piano music. That’s why I was so happy to be given the opportunity to review Piano Music from the Movies, a collection of music from various film score composers performed by Stephen Edwards.
A native of Michigan, Stephen Edwards began his education in music early, receiving training from his mother Rosalie, and following up this training with instruction at Interlochen Music Camp and Lawrence University. Continuing his studies at Dick Grove School of Music in Los Angeles, he began working as a session musician under film and television scoring composers like Mike Post. He is an avid pianist and has performed on a number of film and television soundtracks.
Piano Music from the Movies contains twenty songs that have emotionally moved Edwards over the years. A number of the songs found on this album were originally performed by large orchestras like Ennio Morricone’s Main Title from Once Upon a Time in America, and yet, Stephen Edwards finds a way to strip away the orchestral layers and perfectly interpret the pieces for the piano.
I loved the fact that I could recognize many of these moving pieces like the Main Title of Sophie's Choice by Marvin Hamlisch, Brooks Was Here from Shawshank Redemption by Thomas Newman, The Portrait from Titanic by James Horner, the Main Title of To Kill A Mockingbird by Elmer Bernstein and New Fish, also from Shawshank Redemption. I was equally delighted by the rest of the album which featured music from John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Johnny Mandel, Angelo Badalamenti and more, from such films as Diva, Munich, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Sabrina, Being There, Cleopatra, Cinema Paradiso, Field of Dreams and more.
For a piano lover like me, Piano Music from the Movies is an almost perfect album. I was surprised not to see any of the dramatic music composed by Nico Muhly for The Reader, the moviing music from John Williams' score for Memoirs of a Geisha and Love Scene from Terminator (a beautiful piano piece in its own right) by Brad Fiedel, but perhaps Edwards can put these on a second album - Piano Music from the Movies 2 maybe? One can only hope! Anyone who loves the piano and enjoys piano interpretations of well known film score pieces will enjoy this album and find it a terrific addition to their music collection.