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 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 4:59 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

This is an amazing film. While it's been ages since I've seen it, I loved the music in the film and never even knew it was ever released. I picked up the CD for $1.99.

Any comments on the film and/or score?

 
 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 8:19 AM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

One of my favorite movies. Really.

The Greenaway/Nyman collaborations in the 80s consisted of Greenaway editing existing Nyman works into his films (a la Kubrick), at least in part.
Prospero's Books may have more original music. It seems like Nyman didn't start writing specifically for the screen until The Piano.

I think I prefer Nyman's earlier concert works, the music seems more distinctive. But even then I can listen to the same note for only so long.

I have not managed to see any of Greenaway's pictures made before 'Cook...'

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 9:16 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

Propero's Books was a really unusual film, exceptionally inventive and gorgeous. Hard to follow the story much, but as an experience - wow.

 
 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 4:24 PM   
 By:   spook   (Member)

COOK was an amazing film and had a brilliant balance of visuals and sound. That wee kid singing at various points in the film gave it an almost surreal feel and was also a good gag when he's told to shut up which is what a lot of the audience probably wanted to happen! Incredible visuals and uses of colour and probably the first of the REALLY controversial Greenaway films. Nyman and Greenaway seemed like the perfect partnership and the later films i really felt, suffered from him not being a part of it anymore. Admittedly the COOK soundtrack as a stand alone listen can be a bit of a slog though. Brilliant in the film however which is what its all about.
For my money Greenaway and Nyman were never better than in DROWNING BY NUMBERS which remains my favourite Peter Greenaway film. So brilliant in so many ways. A bit like Dario Argento, i look at Peter Greenaway's recent stuff and think..what happened to the talent i once loved!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 5:09 PM   
 By:   nerfTractor   (Member)

One of my favorite movies. Really.

The Greenaway/Nyman collaborations in the 80s consisted of Greenaway editing existing Nyman works into his films (a la Kubrick), at least in part.
Prospero's Books may have more original music. It seems like Nyman didn't start writing specifically for the screen until The Piano.

I think I prefer Nyman's earlier concert works, the music seems more distinctive. But even then I can listen to the same note for only so long.

I have not managed to see any of Greenaway's pictures made before 'Cook...'


Greenaway and Nyman were longtime collaborators on many, many films, for which Nyman wrote original music long before he scored Jane Campion's THE PIANO. COOK, THIEF really put Greenaway and Nyman before the public, mostly because the film was such a provocative yet beautiful roller coaster ride of morality and gluttony. Nyman's score did a lot to make the film effective, and the soundtrack recording is a great representation, with one notable exception. The two-note French horn theme for the lovers is not on the album, since it was taken from the score for their previous collaboration DROWNING BY NUMBERS. It can be heard as "Fish Beach" on the terrific soundtrack for that earlier film.

If this kind of music works for you, then another great Greenaway/Nyman score is A ZED AND TWO NOUGHTS. These three scores, along with PROSPERO'S BOOKS, make for a pretty awesome collection.

Finally, if you can get your hands on "Noises, Sounds and Sweet Airs," an operatic concert work by Nyman based on "The Tempest," by all means, grab it. Any fan of Nyman's music will love it as an expansion of PROSPERO, and on its own I consider it to be the composer's finest work.

 
 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 8:49 PM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

Duly corrected.
I conflated the re-use of one or two pieces to mean there was not a lot originally written for the films (and then started makin' like I knew something...).

 
 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 9:46 PM   
 By:   Beanis   (Member)

Nyman's "Memorial" track that is played throughout and ends the film is 12+ minute track of pure melancholy heaven. Sure it is a bit repetitive at that length but that is the strength of the track. It is hypnotic and epic. Powerful stuff. I think all of the Nyman/Greenaway collaborations are worth a listen. I saw Greenaway speak at a college campus for a Screening of The Pillow Book and he was a wealth of ideas and knowledge. He commented on his interest in marrying visual and audio elements to provoke an emotional, intellectual, cultural response. A true artist.

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2013 - 1:00 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

The ARGO/Decca album of the Nyman/Greenaway collaboration pretty much covers the highlights. It's highly recommendable.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2013 - 1:09 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

It's been a loooong time since I saw the film, but I love the score.

I also like how the Pet Shop Boys incorporated the theme from the film into their new song "Love is a Borgeouise Concept" -- even though I wish they'd credited Nyman more properly.

 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 12:51 PM   
 By:   Josh "Swashbuckler" Gizelt   (Member)

I really like the Greenaway/Nyman collaborations. Each one is very different from the other, but there is a consistent sound throughout. My favorite film and score is Drowning by Numbers, which is a great album. I was frustrated when I found the album for The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover and it didn't have “Fish Beach” on it — luckily Cinemax showed Drowning by Numbers shortly after I saw Cook…, which gave me the chance to discover that track, and eventually hunt down the album for Drowning by Numbers, which remains in constant play after all of these years.

I really like many of Nyman's own albums, especially those with selections from “Water Dances” on them. A personal favorite is Michael Nyman Live.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 8:44 PM   
 By:   nitzschemorricone   (Member)

Also highly recommended is Nyman's self-titled LP from 1981, which features the Michael Nyman Band and includes music used in Greenaway's ACT OF GOD and THE FALLS. It was just reissued on Nyman's label after being OOP since its initial release.

MN Records page:
http://www.mnrecords.com/product3.html?cd=MNRCD123

From othermusic.com:

This long-promised reissue of the first album by the Michael Nyman Band, which remained criminally out of print since its initial release on Piano Records in 1981, combines elements of baroque classical canons, eastern European folk tradition, and the highly rhythmic pulsations of minimalist composition, with the unbridled early rock & roll style of Jerry Lee Lewis, its uplifting and pulsating rhythmic bounce giving him inspiration in pieces which have become staples in his repertoire still to this day. Produced by David Cunningham, best known for his work with This Heat and his own Flying Lizards project, and featuring performances by master European musicians Peter Brotzmann, Evan Parker and Alexander Balanescu, the album combines the refined charm of classical music with the exploratory nature and "anything goes" spirit of the post-punk movement. This is a defining document of British experimental music, combining strong rhythmic sensibilities with lovely melodies, blending avant-garde touches with a clear-cut listenablility.

Amazon product description:
The year 1981 saw the release of Michael Nyman, the first Michael Nyman Band recording and a groundbreaking record that presented Nyman s unique take on minimalism and experimental music. Long out of print, the album has been a rare and sought-after collectable for many years. This 30th anniversary CD reissue features a retro-look black vinyl CD in a replica gatefold LP-style sleeve. The album was originally produced by Nyman s ex-Maidstone Art School student, David Cunningham, founder of the Flying Lizards and producer of every Nyman recording for the following ten years. Much of the music is material from the early films of Peter Greenaway, but the album also includes In Re Don Giovanni, Nyman s classic deconstruction of the Catalogue Aria from Mozart s Don Giovanni. Michael Nyman was a turning point in the composer s career, marking the beginning of a new style and direction that ultimately shaped nearly all of the composer s future works.

 
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