Michael Nyman enchants the Royal Festival Hall
Michael Nyman is a master and his songs are little, sublime pieces of art. In a sold-out Royal Festival Hall, Nyman, well known for his minimalistic approach to music, played a selection of famous film scores and compositions with his band. He may have left out the more mainstream Gattaca, The Piano and Wonderland (these are more likely to be played during his solo shows), but Nyman’s music is consistently high and cultivated.
The Draughtsman’s Contract and Prospero’s Books, two of his best works with long-term artistic partner Peter Greenaway, were widely explored for the enjoyment of the audience.
Nyman tirelessly conducted the ensemble from the piano – at times delicately, at others with obstinate strictness. The magnificent acoustics of the hall made it possible to appreciate the clarity of the infectious melodies of his tracks. The grand finale included a mix of the original Water Dances IV and V from The Zoo Duet, as well as rearranged versions of The Kiss and Other Movements. Water Dances: Synchronising was the highlight of the set. With its colourful complexity the song builds into a 50s rock style worthy of Speedy Gonzales and Crocodile Rock.
After an encore featuring a duet with soprano Marie Angel, the master went quickly to the foyer, humbly signing CDs for his fans: an impeccable artist.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
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Watch a live recording of Water Dances: Stroking and Synchronising here: