The Pianist: Music from the Motion Picture
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Roman Polanski's telling of famed Polish composer-pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman's survival in the Nazi-controlled Warsaw ghetto can't help but be infused with the director's deepest passions: he himself escaped the Kraków ghetto as a boy of 7. The musician's status as a musical hero to the oppressed Polish Jews of World War II was surpassed only by that of Chopin, the composer who was at the core of Szpilman's repertoire. Thus this score revolves tightly around Chopin's music, with modern Polish pianist Janusz Olejniczak paying passionate homage to both his musical and national forebears, the haunting strains of the Nocturne in C-sharp Minor setting the film's historical and dramatic tone. The underscore of previous Polanski collaborator Wojciech Kilar (The Ninth Gate, Death and the Maiden) is represented here by the soulful "Moving to the Ghetto," a cue that helps anchor the soundtrack's troubling time and place with understated grace. The collection concludes with a rare, remastered performance of Chopin's Mazurka Op. 17, No.4 by Szpilman himself, recorded in Warsaw in 1948. --Jerry McCulley
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These discs contain most of the soundtrack recordings and more. They will provide the audiophile or classical music lover with a much richer experience.
As for this soundtrack it is an excellent starter for anyone interested in discovering Chopin. I truly never appreciated the depth and humanity of Chopin's compositions until hearing it in the movie. The soundtrack is not a collection of movie music but of some of Chopin's best known works. The musicianship is top of the line. I listen to this CD over and over again and love it.