Album Remarks & Appraisals:
About the Artists
Born in Germany and brought to Britain as a small boy, the composer, pianist, producer and remixer began taking piano lessons at a young age. His fast-growing knowledge of classical music was tempered by his discovery of punk rock: a voyage of discovery that continued through Stockhausen and the American minimalists.
Inspired equally by The Beatles and Bach, punk rock and ambient electronica, Richter blends baroque beauty with minimalist methodology, classical orchestration with modern technology. The result: numerous extraordinaire benchmark works, encompassing concert music, operas, ballets, art and video installations, multiple film, theatre and television scores, also incorporating poetry and literature.
Max Richter's many awards include the European Film Award for Best Composer (for Waltz With Bashir) and further prizes for his scores for Lore and Die Fremde (When We Leave).
He has also recently won Germanys prestigious ECHO Klassik award for the album that resulted from a 2012 invitation from Deutsche Grammophon to recompose Vivaldi's Four Seasons: a widely acclaimed success that has just been re-released with additional remixes and ambient interpretations that Max calls Shadows, as well as a live concert DVD.
Beautifully recorded and cinematic in scope, Songs From Before once again carries a pensive, emotionally resonant tone. Punctuated by Robert Wyatts distinctive, understated readings of Haruki Murakamis text, the music evokes forgotten memories or lost histories, a series of bittersweet articulations that seem suspended somewhere between a dreamy sense of awe and melancholia. The title refers to the fact that, as well as this being a kind of specimen case of music written over a long period, the album carries other music inside it - with the sources ranging from music between 5 and 300 years old - either used as starting points for Maxs own writing, or submerged deep within.
Mojo (Publisher) (p.103) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Punctuated by Robert Wyatt's readings of passages from the novels of Haruki Murakami, Richter employs piano, cello, viola, and piano, and what sound like wobegone shortwave mutterings."
Audio Mixer: Max Richter .
Recording information: CineKosmos, Edinburgh (08/01/2005); Eastcote Studios (08/01/2005); The Exchange Studios (08/01/2005); CineKosmos, Edinburgh (2006); Eastcote Studios (2006); The Exchange Studios (2006).
Photographer: Rhys Frampton.