SOUNDTRACKS
VALLEY OF SHADOWS
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VALLEY OF SHADOWS
Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen

01. Aslak�s dream
02. The calling
03. The shadow
04. The forest gate
05. Aslak
06. Search of lost time
07. Moon
08. Journey in the woods
09. Before dawn
10. Valley of shadows
11. Odyssey
12. Valley of shadows � wake up
13. Metamorphosis
14. Afterlife
Orchestra WARSAW PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Conductor DAWID RUNTZ
Soloists Voice: LISA GERRARD

Choir: KAMIL BARCZEWSKI, SLAWOMIR BIERNAT, STANISLAW DRUZKOWSKI, JOZEF DWOJAK, MAREK PӣTORAK

Piano: DOMINIK WANIA

Cello: MAGDALENA PLUTA

Hammond organ, moog: JOZEF SKRZEK

Hammond organ, virus, vocal: ZBIGNIEW PREISNER
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ALBUMS
TEN EASY PIECES FOR PIANO
Label: EMI Classics
Cat No: 7243 5 56971-2

TEN EASY PIECES FOR PIANO

1. A Good Morning Melody
2. Meditation
3. To See More
4. Talking To Myself
5. The Art Of Flying
6. About Passing
7. Farewell
8. A Tune a Day
9. Greetings From Pamalican
10. A Good Night Melody
Orchestra
Conductor
Soloists Leszek Mozdzer - piano

In 10 Easy Pieces for Piano we find the first instalment of Preisner's post-Kieslowski testimony. And, in a sense, it could hardly be further away from the most obvious qualities of the music for which the composer became famous. Whereas the soundtracks and the Requiem were noted for the ravishing beauty of their orchestrations, in which unusual instrumental combinations were often deployed around the voice of the soprano Elzbieta Towarnicka, these piano pieces focus on an economy of means.

Yet no listener will be in any doubt about the identity of the composer. Preisner's highly personal sense of lyricism sings as clearly as ever throughout these pieces, creating a music formed by one man's soul yet existing beyond boundaries of geography or style, speaking to listeners unwilling to limit their responses according to pre-existing definitions of taste.

The inspiration for 10 Easy Pieces for Piano came out of his own reaction to the success of the Requiem. "I like contrast very much," he said. "And after making music of such monumental scale, I wanted to do something simple. I also like the piano. And it seems to me that one form of music which could be both simple and complex was music for solo piano. I like very much all the music recorded by Keith Jarrett, particularly the famous Koln Concert. Listening to that for the first time, many years ago, was a great experience for me. Maybe it inspired me to do something similar."

Another inspiration, he said, was his friendship with the pianist Leszek Mozder, a product of the Gdansk music school, who has given classical recitals, played with the great Polish jazz musicians Tomas Stanko and Zbigniew Namyslowski, and recorded his own remarkable interpretations of Chopin's piano pieces. "I believe that he is a very great talent," Preisner remarked. "I've known him for many years. We first worked together on the soundtrack for the Louis Malle film Damage and later on the music for People's Century, the BBC TV documentary series. But all the time I felt that when I gave him the notes I was limiting him in some way, not allowing him to show everything he could do. So for this record I wanted to give him such an opportunity, to give him more room for interpretation, which wouldn't have been so easy if it had been written for piano and orchestra. It's hard to explain in general terms how much scope for interpretation he had, because each of the pieces has its own logic, but in all these pieces it was an enormous experience for me to listen to the music being born from the notes I gave him."

If this music limits its resource to a single instrument, that is not to suggest that it is shorn of textural variety. Inspired by the lyricism and dynamic range of Preisner's writing, Leszek Mozdzer draws from the piano a range of timbres and sonorities exploiting all the instrument's physical properties - its wood and wire, its cavities and reflecting surfaces - as he follows a sequence that moves from limpid reveries to full-throttle aggression and back again.

Many people first became acquainted with Preisner through the heartbreaking Concerto in E minor, which the script of The Double Life of Veronique presented as the work of a fictional composer, one Van Den Budenmayer. That music, we came to learn, was in fact full-strength Preisner. And so, in a different guise, are these 10 Easy Pieces for Piano, a new and fascinating part of the evolving testimony of one of the most remarkable composers of our time. [Adapted from the CD liner notes by Richard Williams].

Leszek Mozdzer's performances on this album were made on a Fazioli piano in the Padarewski Centre at Ignacy Padarewski's country house in Kasna Dolna, Poland, July 3rd - 6th, 1999 and were mixed at Preisner Music Studio in Krakow. The music was recorded by Geoff Foster, assisted by Jacek Koltuniak and Wojtek Siwiecki.

NON-FILM ALBUMS