This is one of the best marriages of soundtrack with film story line that I have ever seen. The first time I saw the film "The Piano," my husband and I were living in China. Every evening, the hotel would treat us to an English-language film. We were so starved for American entertainment that we watched every movie, regardless of the genre. Normally, we would not watch a "chic flic." We much preferred action/adventure, or sci-fi. However, this movie was absolutely captivating. About 3/4s of the way through it, the hotel's automatic timer switched the movie over to the 10:00 news. I was devastated! I absolutely had to find out how this all turned out! It was the very first movie I saw upon my return to the United States. From the opening notes, I was hooked. The music sweeps you into the story of Ada, a mute woman who was basically sold by her father to be the bride of a New Zealand landowner in the mid-1800s. Because she is mute, the piano speaks for her. It is her voice, it defines her as a person, and it expresses all of her passion and emotion. I cannot imagine the story or the soundtrack without the other. To me, the solo piano pieces are the best part of the soundtrack. Passionate, sensuous, and sweeping, they clearly show the character's love of playing and of the instrument. Two of the pieces never fail to bring tears to my eyes. Sometimes tender and lilting, sometimes roudy and racous, the story is played out in the music. This soundtrack has a voice all its own. I've never heard anything else like it. I can listen to it over and over and over and never get tired of it. In the words of one of the film's characters, "...(it is) like a mood that passes through you..." Purely beautiful music. You don't want to miss this one.