May 1, 2014
Buy at Bandcamp
In a follow-up to his Grammy-nominated score for Journey, composer Austin Wintory has released Transfiguration, a short piano solo album containing arrangements of the more memorable pieces from the sublime orchestral soundtrack. The sheet music for the album had previously been released, with all the arrangements (which are aimed at an intermediate difficulty level) done by the talented and passionate Laura ‘Flute Link’ Intravia. For the album the pieces are played by famed concert pianist Robert Thies, and Intravia returns to provide new vocals for “I Was Born For This”. While the piano album isn’t quite as captivating or complete as the original soundtrack, it still offers an interesting take on the source material with a distinctly different sound.
The opening track “Nascence” immediately highlights the difference between piano and string instruments. While the original opening track has the cello mournfully wringing out each note, the piano version seems at first like a feeble imitation as the notes appear and quickly fade into the empty air. As the arrangement moves on it’s clear that these are largely transcriptive arrangements, not doing much more elaboration on the themes (though to be fair the original soundtrack was already mostly an extensive elaboration on a few themes). While it is a bit disappointing that fresher interpretations were not taken, as the chords begin to build on “Nascence” it seems that the mere translation of the original pieces to solo piano is a fresh interpretation in itself. Each note has more force in its impact before echoing out, and the chords are more distinctly heard than in the original score. If the original soundtrack could be compared to wind, at times still and at others sweeping with its strin