Buy Soundtrax’ Music From The Walt Disney/Pixar
Films Up/Ratatouille/The Incredibles for Solo Piano
Music Composed By Michael Giacchino
Piano Solos Performed by Mark Northam and Joohyun Park
Arranged And Produced By Mark Northam and Joohyun Park
Buy Soundtrax Digital Release 30 Tracks – Disc Time: 56:16
Rating of 7.5 of 10.0
The Music From Walt Disney/Pixar Films For Solo Piano is another one of Buy Soundtrax’s unique concept albums to be released in recent months like the very impressive Battlestar Galactica and Twilight Films albums which were surprisingly engaging. This time around the focus is on Academy Award winner Michael Giacchino’s work on the hit films Up (for which he won his Oscar for), Ratatouille and The Incredibles, which began his amazing ascent into one of the most versitile and engaging composers around at the moment. His joyous and exciting compositions for these films along with every major score he’s produced since then such as Star Trek, John Carter of Mars, Super 8, Monte Carlo, Lost and his most recent Pixar effort, Cars 2, have all spun and woven into a beautiful web of music that just continues to get better and better has his career has gone along.
This album featuring some wonderful performances by Mark Northam and Joohyun Park once again who performed magnificently on the Battlestar Galactica album, is a nice and engaging album that reminds me alot of Michael Lang’s brilliant Henry Mancini album Days Of Wine And Roses. Each score represented here in short suites of about twenty minutes each feature a nice set of highlights from the best moments of each score. Northam performs the majority of the album which includes Up and Ratatouille and Park performing solely on The Incredibles. The strongest of the three suites is definitely Park’s intrepretation of The Incredibles, which like the original score itself was a jazzy and exhilarating. Like the rumba piano styled tracks “Off To Work” and “The Incredits” in more shortend version of the lengthy suite from the original film and album. Park also captures the superhero essence of the action with “Missile Lock”, and “Life And Death” with poignancy. Not to say that Northam’s performance is not any good because it is and his strongest is Ratatouille because of the shifts of the tone in the music which is based on the Pariaian sound that Giacchino created for the misadventures of the chef and mouse in the film perfectly captured with his romantic solo on “Main Theme” which is as elegant as the original score’s version as well as his other terrific solos for “This Is Me”, “Wall Rat” and “Special Order”. Wall Rat in particular is the most fun of the three tracks I mentioned.
Up unfortunately suffers a little here in piano form because it’s a big lush orchestrial score that really does lose a little bit when it’s stripped away from it’s big natural sound. The album features a healthy amount of music that is a very good concept album and one that piano lovers will enjoy on it’s own merits. The problem here is that most who would already have the original soundtracks, will by pass it for the simple reason that they would say “How good could a piano album like this make me not want to listen to the original tracks”” I would say it’s a worthy addition to go along with the original scores themselves because it’s a different perspective and take on the material like alot of re-recordings of soundtracks go. Does it have it’s flaws? Yes, sure it does, but still a very nice crossover album thanks to the performances of both pianists.
Buy Soundtrax’ Music From The Walt Disney/Pixar Films By Michael Giacchino is available on ITunes, Amazon and other digital music services.