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Grand Piano

Grand Piano Soundtrack (Víctor Reyes) - CD cover
Composer: Víctor Reyes
Release date: 03/07/2014 (Film release: 2013)
Label: MovieScore Media (5055667603786)
Type: Movie
Buy: MovieScore Media
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Format: CD, Download
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1. Grand Piano Main Titles (2:41)
2. Grand Piano Concerto: 1st Movement (11:44)
3. Grand Piano Concerto: 2nd Movement (10:50)
4. Grand Piano Concerto: 3rd Movement (3:38)
5. La Cinquette (3:28)

Total duration: 32 minutes
Write your own review for this soundtrack!

Review of John Mansell, submitted at , score: 10/10
GRAND PIANO is a wonderfully taught and deliciously suspense filled drama. It stars Elijah Wood, John Cusack, Dee Wallace and Alex Winter. Who all perform outstandingly under the directorship of Eugenio Mira. The filmmaker has put together this vexing and urgent piece of cinema which is a superb thriller that is centred around just one performance that could be a matter of life and death. GRAND PIANO follows Tom Selznick(wood) who is a gifted pianist and one who is returning to the stage after an absence of five years, this was brought about by him giving a disastrous rendition of LA CINQUETTE which is also referred to as the unplayable piece. As you can imagine Selznick is nervous about his return but this is further impacted upon when he finds out he is to play the same piano that he performed on stage last. Plus he is given more pressure when he opens his score book to find written in large red letters PLAY ONE WRONG NOTE AND YOU DIE, (obviously Simon Cowell on a good day), So gripping and exciting stuff. The music is by Spanish born composer Victor Reyes, of course this Maestro has along with many of his fellow countryman who work as film composers had a steady and some what heady rise to prominence in the past five years or so and I for one am of the opinion that we have Spanish film music composers to thank for the re-emergence of the fully symphonic soundtrack in recent years. Ok I know John Williams and also John Barry and Jerry Goldsmith were probably the main composers to bring back into play the fully orchestral film score, Williams in-particular evoking the music of the golden age of cinema with his rip roaring scores for STAR WARS etc. But film music from Spain has you have to admit been of the highest quality and at times has certainly outstripped and outshone scores from Hollywood in more recent times, so much so that Hollywood turned to Spanish composers to score big budget movies, introducing film music collectors to a whole new legion of composers. GRAND PIANO contains a classical sounding score, which given the films subject matter should not come as a surprise. Reyes music is glorious and opulent and at times evokes memories of THE LEGEND OF THE GLASS MOUNTAIN and even THE WARSAW CONCERTO, but it is more than just a piano concerto, in fact the music works on a number of levels, firstly it is the music being performed in concert and is richly decadent and wonderfully entertaining and inspiring, filled with passion and emotion. Secondly it works as a film score, it supports the action on screen and combined with some clever camera shots and split second editing it is able to create such a tense and also at times urgent atmosphere. Then it entertains as just music, away from the images and totally away from the movie, after all it is a concerto and successfully works as a stand alone piece of music, the composer has managed to relay moods that are filled with romance and written dramatic and also unsettling themes in abundance that ooze a nervous tension and also have about them a sense of desperation and frustration.

The composer supports the central instrument (piano) with wonderfully lush and lavish sounding strings that are romantically led but also have an underlying sense of the macabre or dangerous, these emotions are further added to by the support of percussion and also brass that punctuate and stab at times within the work. I think the composer has succeeded in creating a work that serves the movie extremely well but also there is no doubt at all that one could listen to this music all day and not tire of it without the images it was intended to enhance. There have been a few comments about the music in the movie being performed by synthesised means, I cannot be certain but I am of the opinion that this is probably not the case, the work sounds to robust, too rounded and rich ,but there again I could be wrong. The opening theme for the score is a riveting piece, and has I think affiliations with both Ennio Morricone and French composer, Jacques Loussier, Reyes utilizes a dark and threatening piano that almost lumbers into the cue and introduces a gradual build up of the theme, strings and a collection of percussive elements add to the proceedings and create a somewhat complex and shadowy atmosphere,
if you have heard the opening theme for THE DARK OF THE SUN by Loussier you will know what I am referring to, the opening builds and builds creating a nervous tension as it does so, but ends abruptly leaving the listener almost dangling in mid air suffering from anxiety. The movie itself is I think a throwback from the past, or at least the plot seems to be straight out of Hitchcock’s book on how to make a drama, but at least it is an entertaining piece of cinema that has one on the edge of your seat, and keeps you entertained throughout. Reyes energetic and beautifully powerful music greatly aids the tension and fraught atmosphere and is certainly more than a background or a film score. Both film and score are highly recommended.

Read other recent reviews by John Mansell: Erika, Il Plenilunio delle Vergini, Le Altre

Find more reviews on FilmMusicSearch.com
WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC CRITICS AWARD FOR ‘BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER FILM’

Victor Reyes’ score — incorporating originals and furious arrangements of existing pieces by Beethoven and others — is, needless to say, a relentless asset. (Guy Lodge, Variety)

Each arpeggio and every strike of the bow is used to serve and compliment the film’s quieter moments while the orchestra leaps into action when things start to ramp up. (Drew Tinnin, Dread Central)

Reyes energetic and beautifully powerful music greatly aids the tension and fraught atmosphere and is certainly more than a background or a film score. Both film and score are highly recommended. (John Mansell, Movie Music Italiano)

Not only is the score a fully functioning classical work in its own right, but as it progresses the music actually matches the dynamic and dramatic arc of the film. (Jonathan Broxton, MovieMusicUK)

The music swings from one end to ther other with new themes and instruments. It’s like a rollercoaster and I don’t want to get off it. It’s exhilarating and exciting as hell. (Jorn Tillnes, SoundtrackGeek)

If there was another way to do this film, it should be said that the composer and director have definitely chosen the most difficult one. (Roberto Pugliese, Colonne Sonore)

Directed by Eugenio Mira, high-concept thriller Grand Piano has been described by reviewers as “Speed with a piano”. The plot focuses on concert pianist Tom Selznick who finds an odd note on his sheet music prepared for his next concert – he must play flawlessly or someone will die. Considering this is one of the hardest piano pieces ever, Tom must defeat his inner demons to complete the mission and give us enough time to solve the mystery. Starring Elijah Wood and John Cusack, our release of Grand Piano coincides with the film’s US theatrical premiere on 7 March 2014.

Making his MSM debut is composer Víctor Reyes, who is one of the great emerging talents of the Spanish film music scene with several great international credits to his name. High-concept thrills seems to be a specialty for the composer; possibly his best-known work was written for Buried (2010), starring Ryan Reynolds as a soldier trapped in an underground coffin with only a cell phone providing communication with the outside world. One of Reyes’ other recent credits is Red Lights (2012) in which Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy investigate the supernatural abilities of a blind psychic played by Robert de Niro.

Building upon the traditions of classic Bernard Herrmann scores like Hangover Square or The Man Who Knew Too Much, Grand Piano also features an original concert piece taughtly integrated into the plot. Victor Reyes himself described his work as an “Octopus Concerto” as the player would need eight hands to play it properly – yet pianist John Lenehen excels at delivering a gripping performance for all three movements. The album is bookended by the ”Main Titles” and the notorious ”La Cinquette” which has been described as unplayable in the film, yet Tom Selznick must defeat this monster in order to move ahead in his life…

Very few movies look at the music as a central character as opposed to a simple underscore, but Grand Piano knows is greatest asset and allows it to shine. Victor Reyes’ score had already won the International Film Music Critics Award for ‘Best Original Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller Film’ and was one of the five scores nominated for the ‘Film Score of the Year’ IFMCA award. It’s also been a recurring guest on many reviewers’ ‘Best of Film Music 2013′ lists (Cinematic Sound Radio #3, Reel Music #1) which is quite an achievement that had no commercial release – until now! MovieScore Media is proud to release Victor Reyes’ exceptionally well-crafted and critically noted music for the film.


MMS14010/KRONCD045 • GRAND PIANO (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Music Composed by VÍCTOR REYES
Release date (digital): March 11, 2014
Release date (CD): April 29, 2014
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