CD: Grand Piano (2013)

October 6, 2014 | By


GrandPiano2013Score: Excellent

Label:  MovieScore Media / Kronos Records

Released:  March 11, 2014


Tracks / Album Length:  5 tracks / (32:21)

Composer: Victor Reyes

Special Notes:  n/a




Victor Reyes’ “Main Titles” is a fantastic mix of agitated rhythms redolent of Ennio Morricone’s work (notably The Untouchables’ fat bass line) and mounting textures which introduce a smidge of melody in a cue that’s otherwise representative of madness about to explode from pent-up pressure.

The album’s midsection is divided into three movements which generally involved a swirling piano concerto with full orchestral accompaniment. Piano soloists Reyes and John Lenehan occasionally touch upon chords reminiscent of classic giallo scores, but certainly in the first movement (running under 12 minutes) the emphasis is on a buildup, flowing from a formal thematic intro to expansions as shared between piano and orchestra.

Among furious components there are small areas where Reyes focuses on bits of tenderness (the closing bars of the “First Movement” with eddying piano figures is especially lovely), but its classical structure is very operatic, energetic, and clearly a setup for the upcoming darker material after establishing the main theme in its most elegant and harmonically pleasing form.

The score’s “Second Movement” (about 11 minutes) is much heavier in piano, albeit performed like a series of stitched demented dance pieces, including a brief waltz in the opening. Madness just flows from an ornamental performance style where notes sway from one end of the keys to the other, and each fugue of excitement restarts another theme variation. Each spin-off allows Reyes to show off the score’s sharp orchestrations and the rather dreamy colours, especially its plaintive strings, ascending Herrmannesque chords, and the use of a Bolero march before a fast-driving wrap-up with flowing piano, cymbal crashes, and integration of some of the hard bass keys heard in the “Main Titles.”

The third and final movement (under 4 minutes) plays the main theme in a more agitated yet formal version, flowing between mid- and high notes while Reyes adds tension with modest percussive hits. The finale recaps the score’s romantic component, although with solo piano, its colour is part semi-tragic and partly peaceful, as though madness has finally come to its end, giving full closure to the characters.

The album’s last cue is a solo piano piece with abruptly terminated sections which hint at something incomplete and hastily formulating, and Reyes’attempts at a conclusion through maniacally performed rhythmics on the piano’s bass keys return the score back to its starting point.



© 2014 Mark R. Hasan



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