MN Records has embarked on a project to release the complete chamber works of British composer Michael Nyman. The series begins with two recordings, available now – the 'Piano Trios 1992-2010' recorded by the Fidelio Trio, and the 'String Quartets 1-3' recorded by the Balanescu Quartet. The series is expected to unfold over the next few years, coinciding with the composer’s 70th birthday celebrations in 2014.
The Piano Trios album includes two world premiere recordings: Poczatek, a work in five movements, was premiered by the Fidelio Trio in 2010 and is derived from a score composed for the Michael Nyman Band in 2009 as a soundtrack to the film Poczatek; The Photography of Chance is dedicated to the memory of British radio DJ John Peel and was premiered by the Ahn Trio in 2004. The album also includes new recordings of Yellow Beach (2002) and Time Will Pronounce (1992).
The String Quartet album contains reissues of recordings of Nyman’s first three quartets, originally released on Decca in 1991. While never conceived as a series, the three works share ‘a consistency of compositional approach’, according to the MN label.
Michael Nyman is perhaps best known as a composer for film - particularly for his best-selling soundtrack to Jane Campion’s The Piano. He has also written several operas and concertos, and numerous chamber works. He was awarded a CBE for services to British music in 2008.
Listen to the first movement of Nyman’s Poczatek on the Gramophone Player below: