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Composed, Orchestrated, and Produced by:
David Hirschfelder

Conducted by:
Ricky Edwards

Philips Classics

Release Date:
November 5th, 1996

Audio Clips:
1. With the Help of God, Shine (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

5. Scales to America (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

9. Your Father, Your Family (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

19. The Rach. 3 (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Regular U.S. release. A 2CD collection of classical pieces in the film was released in May of 1997 and features no score.

  Nominated for an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe.

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Buy it... if you enjoy masterful performances of some of the world's most challenging classical piano pieces.

Avoid it... if you have not seen the film or are unfamiliar with the highly targeted context of the film's tribute to a genius on piano.

Shine: (David Hirschfelder) Among the red hot sensations of the 1997 awards season was Shine, an Australian film that caused such a stir at its Sundance debut in late 1996 that both New Line and Miramax were engaged in open warfare over the right to distribute the film worldwide. After winning no less than nine Australian Film Institute awards, the film struck all the right chords with American critics, and within a few months, it would be favored to win several Golden Globes and Academy Awards as well. The story of Australian pianist David Helfgott, the idea for Shine came to director Scott Hicks ten years before the film would debut. After reading a newspaper story about Helfgott (who had made news by performing a flawless classical repertoire at a Perth restaurant), Hicks arranged to see Helfgott in concert. Over the following year, he would endeavor to earn Helfgott's trust in the idea of presenting his story on film, and eventually, a partially fictionalized screenplay by Jan Sardi would satisfy Helfgott with all the relevant events and characters included. Perhaps more importantly, Helfgott would perform for recordings of the famed classical repertoire for use in the film itself and the album that followed. A highly personal film, Shine details Helfgott's discovery as a musical genius and the conflict this caused with a demanding father who was attempting to live vicariously through his son's success. Eventually breaking his bond with family and Australia, Helfgott studies on scholarship as a young man in London, where he achieves remarkable success in his performances, but suffers an internal, mental breakdown. Three different ages of the primary character are presented in non-chronological order, jumping around without narration to assist the audience in understanding Helfgott's journey. This, along with an unprecedented incorporation of difficult piano pieces into the performances contained in the story, gave composer David Hirschfelder a daunting task.

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Hirschfelder would be nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his efforts in Shine (losing in both cases to Gabriel Yared's The English Patient), though his actual contribution of original underscore is easily dwarfed by the well known classical pieces arranged and performed specifically for the film. The majority of running time in the film is occupied by the classical works, many of which the most difficult pieces in the world to play, and Helfgott's performances are often accompanied by a moderate orchestra. There are several moments when the solo piano is put on display (forcing actor Geoffrey Rush to enact some challenging "keyboard acting" in the picture), and for fans of classical piano works, these performances will cause you to hush others in the room (much like the restaurants in which Helfgott performed). One of the keys to Shine's success was the fact that Hirschfelder (along with conductor Ricky Edwards) rearranged the classical works so that they could often flow seamlessly throughout original underscore cues. As you would expect, Hirschfelder's 30 minutes or so of underscore is piano-centered, often accompanied by whimsical strings and/or harp. His melodic, lyrical cues are often hopeful and uplifting, representing Helfgott's dreams and imagination. The score takes a dark turn, however, when his father is makes his ultimatums, with Hirschfelder pounding in the deep lower ranges of the piano. Additionally, the mental breakdown sequences (in "The Rach. 3" and "Complicato in Israel") are punctuated with broad electronic droning effects, sometimes mixed into the middle of a Rachmaninoff statement, providing an excellent sensation in the film, but a disjointed one on album. Apart from the film, the Shine score, which also includes a few sound effects and character vocals throughout, is really a souvenir for viewers of the film. Fans of masterful performances of the hardest classical (and 20th Century) piano works will enjoy the plentiful collection of appropriate pieces. For listeners unfamiliar with the film (or for those for whom the piano is an annoyance), there will be little connection between the pieces, and the album could become quite tedious. A remarkable effort in context, but highly targeted in its audience. *** Price Hunt: CD or Download

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 2.86 Stars
Smart Average: 2.93 Stars*
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 Track Listings: Total Time: 64:05

• 1. With the Help of God, Shine (3:19)
• 2. The Polonaise - written by Frederic Chopin (1:20)
• 3. Did He Win? (0:43)
• 4. Will You Teach Me? (2:33)
• 5. Scales to America (2:29)
• 6. Scenes from Childhood - 'Almost too Serious' - written in part by Robert Schumann (1:32)
• 7. These People are a Disgrace (1:15)
• 8. Raindrop Prelude - written by Frederic Chopin (0:42)
• 9. Your Father, Your Family (2:34)
• 10. Tell Me a Story, Katherine (2:03)
• 11. Back Stage (1:16)
• 12. Punished for the Rest of Your Life (1:02)
• 13. Moments of Genius (0:46)
• 14. La Campalesson - written by Franz Liszt (0:49)
• 15. Letters to Katherine (1:27)
• 16. 1st Movement Cadenza from the Rach 3. - written by Sergei Rachmaninoff (2:37)
• 17. Night Practice/Parcel from Katherine - written in part by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1:19)
• 18. As If There Was No Tomorrow (1:44)
• 19. The Rach. 3 - written by Sergei Rachmaninoff (4:17)
• 20. Complicato in Israel (1:56)
• 21. Raindrop Reprise - written by Frederic Chopin (1:44)
• 22. Bath to Daisy Beryl (1:30)
• 23. Gloria - written by Antonio Vivaldi (2:26)
• 24. Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 - written by Franz Liszt (3:39)
• 25. Prelude in C # Minor - written by Sergei Rachmaninoff (2:17)
• 26. Flight of the Bumble Bee - written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakoff (1:08)
• 27. Rach. 3 Reborn - written by Sergei Rachmaninoff(1:13)
• 28. Goodnight Daddy (2:03)
• 29. A Loud Bit of Ludwig's 9th - written by Ludwig van Beethoven (0:41)
• 30. Sospiro - written by Franz Liszt (2:45)
• 31. What's the Matter, David/Appassionata - written in part by Ludwig van Beethoven (1:12)
• 32. La Campanella - written by Franz Liszt (1:02)
• 33. Familiar Faces/Rach. 3 Encore - written in part by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1:35)
• 34. Nulla in Mondo Pax Sincera - written by Antonio Vivaldi, performed by Jane Edwards (4:38)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert contains extensive information about the classical cues and how they were arranged.

  All artwork and sound clips from Shine are Copyright © 1996, Philips Classics. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 11/16/96 and last updated 4/16/06. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1996-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.