"I first heard this when I first saw the film (go see!) and wanted to know who wrote such beautiful music, which was so in sync with the counting games and cut of the film. It's a great score: musically it carries on where Zed and Two Noughts left off, rather than take 4 bars of the Mozart piece, Nyman decided to 'rewrite' and rework the whole piece for inspiration...it turned me onto the darkness in mozart's work (the opera Don Giovanni for example) which I hadn't previously realised. Drowning by Numbers #3 is as haunting as say, 'The Garden is becoming a robe room' and very morbid, like the film...the opening up of the music and score definitely works wonders, where a lot of Z.O.O. left me cold as some academic exercise (apart from the last track, the amazing Angelfish Decay: is that a REAL human voice or a theremin? :-) whereas this is cold in a human, dark way and much more lyrical and flowing.The only thing is now I've heard Philip Glass's 'Einstein on the Beach.' I now realise what a big influence Glass was on Nyman (rather than the other way round as I'd supposed?), the fast arpegiating chords and vocal lines, even down to the use of counting in the film (although that might not have been Nyman's doing, Greenaway and Nyman did seem to work very closely together). It does seem to equally wear it's influences on (or up?) it's sleeves as much as it improves or conquers them.But a great soundtrack, and piece in it's own right, 5 stars for feeling and evocative mood alone."
Mr. A. Pomeroy | Wiltshire, England | 05/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A fantastic collection of Michael Nyman concert pieces and selections used in the film, this was mostly derived from the works of Mozart, although bearing little musical similarity. It fits the film perfectly, being both ancient and modern, with a definite melancholic edge. It's my personal favourite of all the Greenaway / Nyman collaborations, and my favourite single Michael Nyman album."
Drowning in a sea of music
Josť Miguel Covas Moura | Coimbra, Portugal | 07/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Drowning By Numbers", the film: Directed by Peter Greenaway in 1987 and released in the U.S. four years later on the heels of the release of "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover". The audience follow three generations of women from the same family who murder their husbands by drowning. In return for promised sexual favors, which the women ultimately withhold, the local coroner agrees to certify the deaths as accidental.
"Drowning By Numbers", the soundtrack: Michael Nyman's compositions main appeal rely on paleness and subtlety, and most melodies guide the listener to subterfuges only to be revealed after quietness can't hold its breath anymore. The music has an undisturbed poetic quality, reminiscent of baroque but never being intrusive. Strongly recommended."
The Best Soundtrack of All Time
gslarson | South Jordan, UT United States | 03/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoy many genres of music including film music. In the film genre I like the classics from Bernard Hermann and Miklos Rozsa to the contemporary sountracks from Phillip Glass, Patrick Doyle and Michael Nyman. I must first say that I think Michael Nyman is the most incredible composer of this era, and I think "Drowning By Numbers" is his best film score. I also love his other scores particularly the scores from "Carrington", "Gatacca", "Wonderland" and his scores from the other Greenaway films (oh, and the score from "The Piano" isn't bad either!). However, I believe this one is his greatest achievement. He took a few bars from Mozart as his source and created this soundtrack that flows seamlessly from track to track on the CD (and from scene to scene in the film). The entire soundtrack has a beautiful melancholy to it that is relaxing and powerful. The layers are so wonderfully crafted that I believe this is the most incredible moment in the minimalist era, and is the best film score ever written. I know that many would not agree with ranking it that high, but I think most people who give it a chance would agree that this album does belong in the collection of any soundtrack fan."