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Wiseman : Piano Stories

Debbie Wiseman

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Album Review

Responsible for the theme tunes of some of the U.K.'s most distinguished documentaries and dramas of the '90s and 2000s, celebrated British composer Debbie Wiseman revisits 24 of her favorite pieces on Piano Stories, a unique "best-of" collection which strips away the expansive orchestration of the originals in favor of a stripped-back solo piano production which breathes new life into a repertoire spanning over 20 years. Beginning with her early foray into kids TV on Children's Hospital ("Ray of Sunshine") and ending with a piece from 2011 critically acclaimed war drama The Promise ("Occupation"), there are subtle yet emotive renditions of numbers from big-screen period dramas Tom & Viv ("The Honeymoon Is Over") and Haunted ("Mists of Edbrook," "Christina's Minuet"), star-fronted travelogs Joanna Lumley's Nile ("Journey of a Lifetime") and Stephen Fry in America ("Travels with Uncle Sam"), and a whole host of BBC favorites including Judge John Deed ("Man of Law"), Warriors ("Peacekeeper"), and Land Girls ("Fields of Hope"). While several compositions unavoidably lose their dramatic quality, particularly the Ivor Novello-winning "Oscar" from the 1997 biopic Wilde, many benefit from their more intimate minimal setting. "Joe & Diana," from early-'90s sitcom The Upper Hand, doesn't sound anywhere near as dated now that its corny saxophone hook has been removed, while the slightly sedate treatment of The Andrew Marr Show's "Current Affairs" is far more suited to its Sunday morning time slot than its usual bombastic jazz soundtrack. With so many iconic theme tunes under her belt, Wiseman could easily just have bunged out a compilation of the originals. But in lovingly reworking her own material, she's produced an effortlessly soothing and beautifully understated alternative retrospective which cements her reputation as one of Britain's most accomplished film and TV soundtrack composers. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Amazing!!!

It is beautiful to be able to hear her compositions in the way they were originally written. Such a talented composer and pianist. A must own album for any music fan.

Wiseman : Piano Stories, Debbie Wiseman
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Customer Ratings

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