'The Pianist' Soundtrack Lands at Number One (With a Bullet) On Billboard's Classical Chart

Following 'The Pianist' Academy Award Wins for Best Director and Best Actor for Roman Polanski and Adrien Brody

Soundtrack Features Music of Chopin, Plus a Historic Track Of Wladyslaw Szpilman Himself Playing a Chopin Mazurka


After charting for 13 weeks on Billboard's classical chart, 'The Pianist' soundtrack lands in the number one (with a bullet) spot this week. The film recently swept the best director, best actor and adapted screenplay Oscars at the 2003 Academy Awards. The soundtrack was released on November 26, 2002 from Sony Classical.

The music of Chopin became a lifeline for composer/pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman, the real-life subject of Roman Polanski's 'The Pianist'. The film was adapted from the autobiography of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jew who detailed his survival during World War II. A celebrated composer and pianist, he played the last live music heard over Polish radio airwaves before Nazi artillery hit. During the brutal occupation, he eluded deportation and remained in the devastated Warsaw Ghetto. There, he struggled to stay alive even when cast away from those he loved.

Sony Classical's original soundtrack recording features the Polish pianist Janusz Olejniczak performing eight pieces by Chopin, including the haunting Nocturne in C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth., that plays a pivotal part in Szpilman's story. The soundtrack also includes a special historic track -- a remastered recording of Wladyslaw Szpilman himself playing Chopin's Mazurka, Op. 17, No. 4, in Warsaw in 1948.

"Fryderyk Chopin's music was an essential part of Wladyslaw Szpilman's repertoire," Polanski says of the music used in the film. "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."

As a bonus, the soundtrack also features 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.

The original soundtrack recording for 'The Pianist' will be featured on Sony Classical's Web site at www.sonyclassical.com. The site will include excerpts from the score, images from the film, multimedia, special interactive features and more. Sony Classical.com is an online resource for exploring the label's entire catalogue of recordings, and includes sound clips, track listings, cover art and other information about the recordings. The site also features an online radio show, album supersites, multimedia, artist biographies, tour schedules and discographies for all Sony Classical artists, as well as special promotions, and much more.

SOURCE: Sony Classical

CONTACT: Susan Schiffer of Sony Classical, +1-212-833-4763,

Web site: http://www.sonyclassical.com/