Max Richter: Memoryhouse

ap091214max_richter_memoryhoCOVER115x115.jpgOriginally released in 2002 and long out of print, Max Richter’s gorgeous debut album Memoryhouse has received a much-awaited reissue that finally makes the record available to a wider audience.  Memoryhouse is, at its core, a stunningly beautiful and original post-classical work. Richter’s pieces share common ground with composers such as Henryk Górecki, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich in their depth, patience and articulacy, but also capture the swooning serenity and grace of quieter moments from Sigur Rós, Black Emperor, and Godspeed You!

The album was recorded by Richter with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and critically lauded on its original release, offering intricate and beautiful compositions that have been championed as much in classical musical academia as by fans of contemporary music and film scores.  Memoryhouse is at once bright, sparkling, gripping, heartbreaking, comforting and rousing.  While it moves through moods and ambiances, it never loses its awe-inspiring sense of identity and imagination. The tracks can be enveloping, and one can get lost in the lovingly-composed intricacies and interaction between instruments.  Or they can be a subtle, albeit chill-inducing, soundtrack to the everyday. From the gentle sound of rain on the first track to the exhilarating orchestral triumph on “Last Days,” Richter’s evocative sense of vision is imaginatively singular.

Memoryhouse streams on KCRW's Eclectic 24 at 8pm Monday, December 14 and will be available on-demand through January 12, 2010.

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Track listing:
1. Europe After The Rain
2. Maria The Poet (1913)
3. Laika s Journey
4. The Twins (Prague)
5. Sarajevo
6. Andras
7. Untitled (Figures)
8. Sketchbook
9. November
10. Jan s Notebook
11. Arbenita (11 years)
12. Garden (1973) / Interior
13. Landscape With Figure (1922)
14. Fragment
15. Lines On A Page (One Hundred Violins)
16. Embers
17. Last Days
18. Quartet Fragment (1908)