With Beyond the Screen, Rachel Portman has curated some of her most cherished film music for solo piano. She refers to the piano as her best friend, adding "I spend all day with it, most days. I think probably I'm pianistic in my soul." Hence, piano miniatures are a natural second life for her highly melodic scores. Portman was very selective, however, about which pieces would translate best without an orchestra: "I wanted them to be pieces that work in their own way, that are satisfying."
The album comprises various new solo piano arrangements by the composer based on her well-known soundtracks such as Chocolat, The Cider House Rules or The Duchess, as well as a piano suite from her Oscar-winning original score Emma.
Portman has been scoring films and television for 40 years and has composed over 100 scores for film, TV and theatre, becoming the first woman to win an Academy Award in the category of Best Musical or Comedy Score in 1996 for Emma and the first woman to receive a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Mini Series, Movie or a Special in 2015 for Bessie.