About the album
Perhaps the most important aspect of Michael Nyman’s music is that it requires little in the way of explanation. It may be interesting to note that Taking a line for a second walk began life in 1986 as an orchestral work from the Houston Ballet, or that Water Dances—originally written for Peter Greenaway’s film Making a splash and appearing here in its five-movement form for the first time—is in part derived from a chord progression taken from a Monteverdi madrigal. Like the best classical , jazz or pop music, Nyman’s output does stand up to closer analysis, but the secret of its appeal lies not in the field of the academic, but rather in its ability to speak to a large and culturally diverse audience. Nyman is one of the key figures in a nameless movement which has revolutionised contemporary classical music over the last twenty years. ‘Art music’ has undergone a seachange and composers have emerged with the technical ability and the self-confidence to demonstrate that it is possible to write progressive and challenging new music without alienating a large part of the classical audience, while attracting an even broader rock- and poporientated public.