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Friday, April 04, 2008


Superman: The Music (1978-1988)
Music by John Williams, Ken Thorne, Alexander Courage, Ron Jones et al
Film Score Monthly FSM Box 02 (US)
8 Discs over 600 minutes of music

The coup of this year or any other year for that matter is Film Score Monthly's monumental release of the complete scores for all four Superman-Christopher Reeve movies. John Williams of course wrote one of his greatest ever film scores for 1978's Superman - The Movie, which was brilliantly directed by Richard Donner, and if you thought Rhino's release of the Superman-The Movie score was fabulous in itself, this presentation is perfection, featuring as it does, on discs one and two, the complete score, plus 25 minutes of alternate cues.
Discs three and four are devoted to the scores for Superman II (1980) and Superman III (1983) (or, as I like to call it, Richard Pryor I), where, with Williams unavailable, Ken Thorne, new series director Richard Lester's composer of choice, actually did a very creditable job in adapting Williams' music from the first film. The original LP releases of these scores didn't do them justice at all, and these presentations make it seem as if you're hearing the music for the first time.
It was nine years after the original Superman film debuted that Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was released and again Williams was unable to score the picture, but did manage to provide some new themes for his recommended composer/arranger Alexander Courage to work with. The results were excellent, and have long been sought after by soundtrack collectors. Here, at last, we have the complete score, presented on discs five and six, with alternate cues and source music, some of which was provided by Paul Fishman.
Disc seven is an unexpected bonus, as it presents Ron Jones' music for the short-lived spin-off Superman animated series from 1988. There are over 79 minutes of fine music here, and although Jones utilises Williams' Superman Theme, the remainder of the scores are akin to his fine work on the Star Trek: The Next Generation series.
Finally, disc eight, entitled "Extra!" cobbles together additional alternatives, source music and songs from the first three Superman films, including the songs written by hot composer of the time Georgio Moroder for Superman III.
Accompanying all of this often stunning music is a wonderful 160-page hardback book, lavishly illustrated with stills and artwork from the films and featuring just about everything you need to know about the productions, the composers/arrangers, and their music, including the customary FSM cue-by-cue guide.
As you can imagine, this limited edition item does not come cheap but, in view of its exhaustive content, is definitely value for money. Go to for further details, samples, and of course to order your copy.

From Karen Pitchford, Publicist, KHJ Communications Ltd


Friday 6th – Sunday 8th June 2008

A three day celebration of the creative world of Michael Nyman

“a most intriguing musician” The Independent

When Michael Nyman first became a music critic forty years ago and coined the phrase “minimal music”, he could not have foreseen the extraordinary musical and artistic journey that would await him as a composer. In celebration of his powerful creative output over the past thirty years, a three-day celebration of Nyman’s work will be held from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th June 2008 at London’s newest concert venue, Cadogan Hall. This multi-media festival includes not only music and film but features for the first time Nyman’s own photographic and video work and will also act as the unofficial launch for Nyman’s record label, MN Records. The event will also show Nyman’s gratitude to his most intimate musical collaborators: The Michael Nyman Band, the Nyman Quartet, the contralto Hilary Summers and sopranos Marie Angel and Sarah Leonard, along with some newer collaborators such as violinist Francesco D’Orazio and Wingates Brass Band.

The celebration will present six concerts performed over three days and includes

a great curtain raiser with the Michael Nyman Band and Marie Angel performing the already notorious 8 Lust Songs (formerly ‘I sonetti lussoriosi’) to coincide with the MN Records release on 2nd June 08; a new arrangement of ‘For Kiyan Prince’ (2007), dedicated to the murdered QPR youth player, together with music from the soundtracks to Peter Greenaway’s ‘The Draughtsman's Contract’ (1983); ‘The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover’ (1989) and ‘Prospero's Books’ (1991)
This will be preceded by the first live performance of ‘Lift Music’ (2008); the purely minimalist 2 Violins (1981); extracts from The Fall of Icarus (1989/2007) in a new arrangement by Tony Hinnigan for string quartet and piano ‘The Ballad of Kastriot Rexhepi’ (2001) for string quartet and voice, featuring Sarah Leonard
Wingates Brass Band in music from the Nyman Brass album including the first concert performance of a brand-new commission for the National Pensions Convention to celebrate the centenary of the Old Age Pension
The Michael Nyman Band in the first UK performance of Violin Concerto 2A (2007) performed by Francesco D'Orazio plus a rare performance of Nyman’s legendary score for Dziga Vertov’s 1929 silent film ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ (2002)
Michael Nyman in The Piano Sings: solo piano music from the album of the same name and introducing ‘Granpa Delivers [at last] (2008) and th first London concert performance of his score for Jean Vigo’s 1930 film ‘A Propos de Nice’ (2001)
The Michael Nyman Band with Hilary Summers in a rare performance of Six Celan Songs (1992) along with Nyman’s recently-released ‘remix’ album Mozart 252 with music from ‘Drowning by Numbers’ (1989) and ‘Letters, Riddles and Writs’ (1991)

James Rushton, Managing Director of Chester Music and Nyman publisher commented: "This festival encapsulates, as much as any single series of concerts can, the sheer range, diversity and energy of Michael Nyman, the man and his music. This is a rare and very exciting opportunity to celebrate the work of this popular and greatly individual composer via his favourite medium, the Michael Nyman Band, and other performers with whom he has closely worked over many years."

Box Office: 020 7730 4500 / /


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