Author Topic: Max Richter (1966 -)  (Read 2522 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Max Richter (1966 -)
« on: August 08, 2016, 07:54:54 PM »


Hailed as the most influential composer of his generation, electro-acoustic polymath Max Richter defies definition: composer he may be, but he is also pianist, producer, remixer, and collaborator, and beyond argument one of the most prolific of contemporary musical artists.

Inspired equally by Bach, punk rock and ambient electronica, Richter’s sonic world blends a formal classical training (he graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, and was a pupil of renowned composer Luciano Berio) with modern technology. His unique and distinctive brand of heartbroken melodicism bridges the minimalist greats with pioneering electronics and the contemporary digital music production multiverse. Time Out has remarked on the ‘overwhelming emotional power’ of his work, the New Statesman has noted its ‘astonishing depth and beauty’ while Classic FM and Pitchfork have called it ‘stunning’ and The Guardian ‘languorously transcendent’.

Over the years Richter has become best known for his genre defining and highly influential solo albums which have given rise to and are seen as ‘landmarks’ (The Independent, Pitchfork) of the ever burgeoning ‘neo- classical’ movement, but his monumental collaborative output also encompasses concert music, operas, ballets, art and video installations, and multiple film, theatre and television scores.

The over 50 films featuring Max’s work and specifically written scores include Ari Folman’s multiple award-winning and devastating critique of war, Waltz with Bashir (for which Max was awarded the European Film Prize), Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island and Damon Lindelof ’s first television project post-LOST, HBO’s The Leftovers. Theatre productions include Alan Cumming’s triumphant solo version of Macbeth on Broadway, and the National Theatre of Scotland’s internationally lauded Black Watch. Ballets include his many collaborative ventures with maverick Royal Ballet resident choreographer Wayne McGregor, with his works also being used by, amongst others, The Joffrey Ballet, Nederlands Dans Teatre, Lucinda Childs, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Dutch National Ballet, Dresden Semper Oper, Ballet du Rhin, Northern Ballet.

Art Collaborations include work with photographer Darren Almond at the White Cube, with Julian Opie on McGregor’s ballet INFRA, and with visual art collective Random International on Rain Room at the Barbican and MoMA, and Future Self at Lunds Konsthall in Sweden.

Signed as an exclusive artist to Deutsche Grammophon, Max Richter’s projects for 2015 include his new solo album following on from his bestselling ‘Recomposed: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons’ for which he received the ECHO Klassik Award in 2013. In 2015 Max will also see the premiere of Woolf Works his new full length ballet for choreographer Wayne McGregor and The Royal Ballet at Covent Garden on the life and works of Virginia Woolf, which The Independent noted ‘looks set to be one of the most ambitious shows of the year’ and The Guardian forecasted to be ‘one of the highlights’ of the Opera House Season.

[Article taken from All Music Guide]

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No thread on Max Richter? ??? Well, I suppose it's not too surprising. Anyway, I'm not familiar with a lot of this composer's music, but I've certainly liked what I've heard: excerpts from The Blue Notebooks, Sleep, and 24 Postcards In Full Colour. I really have to say I love his lyrical, atmospheric approach to composition. I see that he's composed quite a number of film works as well. Not surprising. Any fans here?
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Online vandermolen

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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2016, 09:33:03 PM »
An admirer here.  :)
I first came across him as the composer of the music for the very sad film 'Sarah's Key'. I have The Blue Notebooks and Memory House. Both contain soulful, atmospheric music which I enjoy if I want something a bit different from my usual listening experiences.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Jo498

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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2016, 10:04:19 PM »
I listened to some that Vivaldi "remix" a few years ago and I find it quite horrible. Not sure why an apparently otherwise serious composer would do something like that (except that it probably sells well...).
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2016, 02:49:41 AM »
I have heard some of his music, but it was for film/tv rather than classical music. I was a little bit disappointed to find out that his non-soundtrack compositions come in pretty much the same style as his other stuff. The few excerpts I heard from 'Sleep' were particularly enjoyable for me but nothing I would listen to on a regular basis.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2016, 05:06:32 AM »
An admirer here.  :)
I first came across him as the composer of the music for the very sad film 'Sarah's Key'. I have The Blue Notebooks and Memory House. Both contain soulful, atmospheric music which I enjoy if I want something a bit different from my usual listening experiences.

That's the great thing about composers like Richter (or Reich, Webern, Scelsi, etc.), they take you in directions you, otherwise, wouldn't have thought about and help give you an appreciation for something that's different than what we're normally accustomed to hearing.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2016, 05:07:23 AM »
I listened to some that Vivaldi "remix" a few years ago and I find it quite horrible. Not sure why an apparently otherwise serious composer would do something like that (except that it probably sells well...).

I'm not sure why he did this either. Doesn't make a lot of sense, but I'm sure his bank account thanks him for it. ;) I prefer to hear his own music.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2016, 02:52:18 AM »
I have Songs from Before as well. I heard a track from it on the radio ('Sunlight') which I liked. Including the soundtrack from 'Sarah's Key' which first drew the composer to my attention I now have four albums by him.

If you like this John you might also like Clint Mansell's score for 'Noah' and of course the Max Richter soundtrack mentioned above.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 03:49:40 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2016, 05:18:03 AM »
I have Songs from Before as well. I heard a track from it on the radio ('Sunlight') which I liked. Including the soundtrack from 'Sarah's Key' which first drew the composer to my attention I now have four albums by him.

If you like this John you might also like Clint Mansell's score for 'Noah' and of course the Max Richter soundtrack mentioned above.

Very cool, Jeffrey. 8) I'll check those out at some point. Right now, I have 12 recordings of Richter's music to listen to, so this will keep me busy for awhile. :)
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2016, 07:02:39 PM »
I have heard some of his music, but it was for film/tv rather than classical music. I was a little bit disappointed to find out that his non-soundtrack compositions come in pretty much the same style as his other stuff. The few excerpts I heard from 'Sleep' were particularly enjoyable for me but nothing I would listen to on a regular basis.

The rhapsodic and glowing article at the top of this thread is a perfect storm of mega-hype PR typical of our times.

I agree with you, Jessop. While M. Richter's skills/chops are solid, his sensibility, whether straight ahead classical or film score, lies mostly if not all in that realm of classical pops -- as does many a popular film score. This is contrary to the inflated praise that tries to make him out as a masterly composer who is a jack of all trades and a master of all genres, lol.

His Vivaldi re-write was fun, slight, while he consistently destroyed the whole effort by writing in an uber schmaltzy Hollywoodesque sentimental style in each of the middle movements, those even further marred by a hyper vibrato brought to the recording by the violin soloist.

Some of the ambient pieces from his film scores are as effective as they are unpretentious -- the inflated "zOMG what a profound great composer" promo copy is just that = a lot of PR uber mega-hype from classical-pops classical businesses out to hardball promote the more popular stuff because it is a business and it keeps an audience, which keeps their advertisers happy.

I'm certain there would be a huge variance of assessment of this composer in the near opposite direction from that in the quoted glow in the dark "ain't he just soooo amazin'" PR article -- if there was one to be found in the likes of a Groves, Larousse Encyclopaedia, etc.

I wonder, too, if a falling all over itself in praise commendation from ClassicFM is tantamount to an endorsement of the bland and mediocre than any credit or accolade a truly earnest "classical" composer would want, lol.


Best regards.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 07:04:27 PM by Monsieur Croche »
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Offline Rinaldo

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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2016, 05:06:59 PM »
Some of the ambient pieces from his film scores are as effective as they are unpretentious -- the inflated "zOMG what a profound great composer" promo copy is just that = a lot of PR uber mega-hype from classical-pops classical businesses out to hardball promote the more popular stuff because it is a business and it keeps an audience, which keeps their advertisers happy.

My take on Richter as well. I'm very fond of my first encounter with his music, during the Holland Festival site-specific performance (or whatever you call it) of Before I Sleep, which used a mesmerizing loop from Richter's Maria, the Poet in a passage near the end of the whole experience.

But aside from


which I immediately snatched and have been enjoying in small doses ever since, Richter's work has left me rather cold. And while I'm far from a purist, I hate his Vivaldi with a passion – such a dull, pointless exercise.

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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2016, 12:15:34 AM »
OT

I rather like the Jacques Loussier version.  8)




"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2016, 07:02:43 PM »
The rhapsodic and glowing article at the top of this thread is a perfect storm of mega-hype PR typical of our times.

I agree with you, Jessop. While M. Richter's skills/chops are solid, his sensibility, whether straight ahead classical or film score, lies mostly if not all in that realm of classical pops -- as does many a popular film score. This is contrary to the inflated praise that tries to make him out as a masterly composer who is a jack of all trades and a master of all genres, lol.

His Vivaldi re-write was fun, slight, while he consistently destroyed the whole effort by writing in an uber schmaltzy Hollywoodesque sentimental style in each of the middle movements, those even further marred by a hyper vibrato brought to the recording by the violin soloist.

Some of the ambient pieces from his film scores are as effective as they are unpretentious -- the inflated "zOMG what a profound great composer" promo copy is just that = a lot of PR uber mega-hype from classical-pops classical businesses out to hardball promote the more popular stuff because it is a business and it keeps an audience, which keeps their advertisers happy.

I'm certain there would be a huge variance of assessment of this composer in the near opposite direction from that in the quoted glow in the dark "ain't he just soooo amazin'" PR article -- if there was one to be found in the likes of a Groves, Larousse Encyclopaedia, etc.

I wonder, too, if a falling all over itself in praise commendation from ClassicFM is tantamount to an endorsement of the bland and mediocre than any credit or accolade a truly earnest "classical" composer would want, lol.


Best regards.

Aside from the dreadful Vivaldi Seasons reimagining or whatever the hell you want to call it, I disagree with a lot of what you wrote on the account that I don't believe Richter is fueled by the PR machine and if he is, then, hey, at least there's going to be some people coming to classical music perhaps for the first-time. I think a lot of cross-over composers get an unpleasant reputation from the classical community because they believe that classical music is like this sacred entity, but what people don't understand and continue to not understand is that composers like Richter aren't turning their backs on tradition but rather trying to expand it so that it doesn't become this stagnant thing. I agree with the classification of Richter's music as post-classical, because it's not music that follows the tradition per se, but it's process is very much classically informed as Richter was trained and brought up with an unwavering reverence for this music's long past. I think sometimes that people can't let go of their own preconceived notions of what classical music is. Also, it seems that any composer that isn't writing music that bashes a listener over the eardrums with a 100+ brass and percussion section is somehow not considered to be hip or worth listening to. Personally, I think Richter is onto something with his music. Granted it doesn't jive the way you or perhaps several of members here want it to but this doesn't make it trite, unthoughtful, or not compelling to where it doesn't move people and touch them. It's music that simply isn't for you. Is Richter a composer I would listen to on a daily basis? Absolutely not as I like a wide variety of styles, but his music does speak to me in a straightforward, simple way and I can't say this for a lot of contemporary composers.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 07:07:43 PM by Mirror Image »
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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2016, 10:58:00 PM »
To be fair, i really don't think that classical crossover artists are a negative thing at all and some have composed brilliant cross-genre music like Frank Zappa. In all honesty, i haven't really come across many crossover composers apart from Zappa who have such original ideas...even Richter i don't think quite lives up to the notion of a truly brilliant crossover artist because I feel that much of his music falls into a familiar 'cinematic style' rather than transcends genres like Zappa's music does.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2016, 04:55:10 AM »
To be fair, i really don't think that classical crossover artists are a negative thing at all and some have composed brilliant cross-genre music like Frank Zappa. In all honesty, i haven't really come across many crossover composers apart from Zappa who have such original ideas...even Richter i don't think quite lives up to the notion of a truly brilliant crossover artist because I feel that much of his music falls into a familiar 'cinematic style' rather than transcends genres like Zappa's music does.

Of course, Gershwin is one of the first truly great cross-over composers, but this thread isn't about him just like this thread isn't about Zappa. Damn, there's a lot of negativity here it seems for a composer who I think is doing the kind of music he wants to do. How about we talk about the music of his that we do like? I mean if you don't like his music, then you can always exit stage left.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2016, 10:29:53 AM »
It's possible that I like the influence of Glass in Richter's music too much, but I thought his Four Seasons was brilliant.

The snippets of the original Vivaldi that he uses are on point (particular mention goes to Sping 1, where he avoids the ridiculously overused main theme entirely). The work generally has great rhythmic drive, often with beautiful, loopy bass lines and some greatly lyrical lines for the soloist.

Apparently the 'romanticised' slow movements are an issue for some. Fine, to each their own.

Summer 1 is the standout movement for me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcsM4HUEwVw

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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2017, 04:53:43 AM »
Is this just self-promotional bullshit?  Do we really need composers to exploit the latest tragedy in order to better market themselves? 


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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2017, 05:50:56 AM »
Perhaps it is, but if it brings to light or advocates a new viewpoint on whatever issue then I would say that they are quite relevant as well. Sort of like John Adams's 'Death of Klinghoffer' and stuff like that.

Offline Dax

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Re: Max Richter (1966 -)
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2017, 06:14:11 AM »
Agreed. But ambulance-chasers are often easily identifiable.