Michael Nyman - Michael Nyman (4 stars)

Handsomely packaged re-release of early scores by minimalist composer

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Michael Nyman - Michael Nyman

(MN Records)

Long before his soundtrack for Jane Campion’s The Piano, Michael Nyman’s very English form of baroque minimalism had impeccable art school credentials. Following his debut on Brian Eno’s Obscure label, this 1981 follow-up five years later was produced by Flying Lizard and Nyman’s former student David Cunningham.

On this handsomely packaged re-release, early scores for Peter Greenaway miniatures are jauntily insistent, while free jazz saxophonists Peter Brotzmann and Evan Parker skitter and splutter all over ‘Waltz’ like Teddy Boys at a tea dance. The lengthy ‘M-Work’, composed for a performance sculpture by Bruce McLean and Paul Richards, is a foreboding epic of contemporary classicism in excelcis on a valuable archive of a composer en route to defining his cinematic oeuvre.

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