The Lehman Trilogy | The Piano Player

The Lehman Trilogy | The Piano Player

(♪ LILTING WALTZ) Sam turned round on the first day
of rehearsals and said, ‘I think we should do
the whole thing on a live piano.’ At first it was pretty terrifying because I had this epic story to tell and
you have to do all this just on a piano. But then it soon became obvious
that was a brilliant idea. We got Candida, who’s playing the piano,
into rehearsals pretty early on. (♪ DRAMATIC FLOURISH) It sounded like an amazing show
with only three actors and a piano – just something I’d never done before. It was a really amazing process. I think I was in from week two,
and I was in pretty much full time, which meant that I saw the music grow. The piano was plugged into a computer, so if anything interesting was happening
I could just hit record. Then Candida is supremely good
at helping me decode what I’ve recorded and turning that into some sort
of manageable score. We were constantly changing things
and there was new music all the time, which was exciting and brilliant. One of the things I thought
really early on and it did stay in there, was that the music
has to pull in two directions. Throughout the piece, they refer back
to their roots, which is Rimpar, Bavaria.They decided to observe all the rules
of shiva and sheloshim,
just as they did in Germany.All the rules,
as if they were in Rimpar, Bavaria.
NICK: I found this old folk tune
called ‘Raisins and Almonds’, which is based on an old lullaby and it’s also a very simple,
obviously European, melody. I thought this has the sort of simplicity that can be the lead motif
that is the call back to their roots.– The winning card is that one.
– And he wins!
– Chance?
– No!
– Strategy.
– And the business grew.
I think that ‘The Card Player’
is really fun to play, which is the piece that follows Philip as he’s building the business
of the Lehman Brothers in New York. The music helps with that movement
that they’re doing, but also responds to how Philip uses the knowledge that he gains
through that to build the business. So it’s constantly changing with
the dialogue and it’s really fun to play. NICK: Candida is very interactive
with what the actors are doing on stage, and sort of playful and it, hopefully,
has this vaudevillian kind of aspect.– The winning card is that one.
– And he wins!
The rest of the piano music kind of grows
and we follow the timeline of the piece, so that, by the end,
we have a lot of effects on the piano. It’s also the momentum forward –
as the business builds, as New York builds, as America builds, as the years go by. I felt there had to be some music
that represented this relentless march of the industrial world
and then the financial world. So, have a kind of propulsion
that was almost like a monster that was drawing them forward. (♪ DISTORTED PULSING) It’s not like a play,
in the traditional sense. It’s like a grand act of storytelling. It’s three men in a box
trying to conjure up 160 years. It’s got its own voice because it’s not necessarily following
the ideas as they’re described. It might have a different viewpoint.
I think that makes it another character. It’s amazing. Every night, they stand up
and whoop and cheer. This is wonderful,
because I feel really proud of it and I really enjoy playing it
and the audience love it. And we have a wonderful team, and it’s
a joy to come in and play every night. (♪ ENDING)

8 thoughts to “The Lehman Trilogy | The Piano Player”

  1. The stage design is so stunning and what I've heard of the music it sounds great! Is there going to be an Album or some way to find and listen to the score?

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