April 2, 2003 - The Academy Award winning film "The Pianist" not only won over audiences in theaters, but now holds the top spot on Billboard's classical chart after 13 weeks in release.
Sony Classical's original soundtrack features Janusz Olejniczak performing eight pieces by Chopin, including the one heard in the pivotal scene in the film - Nocturne in C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth. The soundtrack also features a remastered recording of the man himself, Wladyslaw Szpilman, playing Chopin's Mazurka, Op. 17, No. 4, in Warsaw in 1948.
The touching dramatic film told the story of composer/pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jew whose autobiography serves as the source material for Roman Polanski's movie. The film follows Szpilman as he tries to survive World War II in Warsaw Ghetto. Szpilman holds a place in history as the man who played the last live music heard over Polish radio airwaves before Nazi artillery hit.
In a press release announcing "The Pianist's" number one spot on the Billboard chart, director Polanski was quoted as saying, "Fryderyk Chopin's music was an essential part of Wladyslaw Szpilman's repertoire. For us Poles, Chopin symbolizes revolution. It is not surprising that his monument in Warsaw was pulled down during World War II, nor that the wartime struggles led to his music being banned in Poland. His music is our music - it's like mother's milk. It is what gave Szpilman strength and courage. I am proud to be able to reunite them for this soundtrack. I needed a great pianist from Poland to play authentically and honor both men's memories, and Janusz Olejniczak does that."
Sony Classical's "The Pianist" soundtrack also includes Olejniczak performing five other works by Chopin. They are: the Nocturne in E Minor, Op. Posth.; Nocturne in C Minor, Op. 48, No. 1; Ballade No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 38; Waltz in A Minor, Op. 34, No. 2; and Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28, No. 4.
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Source: Sony Classics