The music of German-born and UK based neoclassical composer Max Richter (b. 1966) has been attracting a lot of renewed interest over the last few years and deservedly so. His music has recently featured on several high profile films such as Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominated Waltz with Bashir (2008), on Martin Scorcese’s Shutter Island (2010) or on the international trailers for Prometheus (2012) and To the Wonder (2012). But it is probably his “rewrite” of Vivaldi’s four seasons with the superb Recomposed project (2012) that has brought his music to a wider audience.
Dating back to 2002, Max Richter’s début solo album Memoryhouse was originally recorded with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and released on the Late Junction label (after the BBC Radio 3 programme of the same name). Following the demise of the label, the record went out of print but was re-released in 2009 by Independent Brighton-based label FatCat Records.
Introduced as experimental “documentary music”, Memoryhouse consists of “a 65-minute journey through the beauty and tragedy of 20th century Europe” (BBC Review) with a series of nostalgic and powerful pieces, ranging from minimalist piano motifs (Embers) to a poetry reading arranged for orchestra on Maria, the poet (1913) or dramatic soprano singing on tracks like Sarajevo.
Max’s evocative sense of vision is stunningly singular, as is his extraordinary ability to suddenly open up a dark piece of music like opening one’s eyes to glorious sunshine, as if the listener were caught up in the most dramatic of weather changes. Max Richter Music
Such has been the impact of the record to date that 12 years after its original release, Memoryhouse will receive its world premiere on 24th January 2014 next in The Barbican, London where it will be performed live with Max Richter and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.