Customer Reviews

28
4.4 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
This album arrived in my life right when I needed it. They say these things happen. It came bundled with a couple other ones from the hands of a friend who knew me too well, and knew how to help me through the period of grief our family is going through after the recent passing of my dad.

When I played the album for the first time, I was touched like I felt touched when I first listened to M83 not too long ago, or when I discovered Sigur Ros in 2001. Max Richter, borrowing influences from Arvo Part, Brian Eno, Philip Glass and Steve Reich, is a new breed of composer, who blends in modern compositional styles with electronic sounds. He creates a sound that resembles minimalism, avoiding being self-indulgent, and keeping the listener involved and engaged with some of the most touching music you will run into.

When listening to Max Richter for the first time, I thought of Craig Armstrong. The latter was involved with Massive Attack, while the former was involved with Future Sound of London. But Richter comes from a much denser and sophisticated musical place. When I think of him, I think more like Craig Armstrong meets Philip Glass. It's that good!

No track in the album is better. The entire piece is outstanding and worth every minute of it and every penny you put into it. I wish you all the same musical joy this album has brought to my life.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Max Richter studied classical music, but also is playing around with computers and samplers. After collaborations with the likes of Future Sound of London, he now makes a kind of modern classical music. Somewhere between minimal music, movie soundtracks, ambient and triphop lies this musical masterpiece. It's almost like a soundtrack to a film, very visual. It has a lot of Phillip Glass-like slow repetitive string-arrangements, but much more interesting to listen to. Because here and there are hidden electronic sounds, but very sparce and subtle. It gives it that little modern edge, which also makes it strange and unpredictable. For example, you are now and then shaken out of your musical dream by the sound of a crow or philosophical poems that are read, over the sound of an oldfashioned typewriter. Very interesting, very subtle, beautifully orchestrated, fantastically crisp produced. This is a musical masterpiece.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Max Richter has created a modern masterpiece in 10 tracks; each stunning, completely unique and mesmerizing. If you're reading this review, you're considering this album for one reason or another, and all I can do is tell you that you must.

I find myself craving 'Shadow Journal,' 'Vladimir's Blues,' 'Horizon Variations,' and 'The Trees' every single night and I've had this album for about a month already. Every piece of this album adds layer upon layer of strings, utterly gorgeous piano, and the slightest electronic element that comingle so perfectly you'll wonder how your luck got so good that your ears have stumbled upon this sonic heaven.

The genius that is Max Richter has another album out that I wish was available here on Amazon.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
what I was going to say. As I have listened to this for the past couple of months I think to myself..."there's some Glass circa Koyannisqatsi....there's some Part circa Arbos.....there's some Nyman...." etc. etc. At first listen, it seems like Richter is just borrowing ideas, but soon it becomes obvious that, yes, those comparisons can be made, but this music still has its own unique voice that makes it obviously not the work of any of the above influences.

And one of the advantages of that is if you like all of those composers (and more in their vein), you'll dig this because it takes so much of what makes them good and gives it to you not only in a renewed musical voice but in a package where you don't have to wait for fifteen minutes for a chord change. Most of these pieces are two to six minutes long. If I have any complaint to make, it's that some of the music is under-developed and I would have loved to hear Richter take some of his beautiful phrases in new directions instead of just repeating them eight or so times and ending them.

I have purchased a lot of CDs over the last few months, and this is one of the only ones that consistently finds its way into my single CD player and seems to speak to me no matter what mood I'm in. Warning(?)--as the title implies, a majority of these pieces are in a Blue mood--the rainy day, nostalgic, melancholia kind of mood. The little tidbits of typing and recitation are also very cool, and perfectly set off the vibe of the whole disc.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is the one that did it for me in 2004, alongside perhaps Arcade Fire.

19th C. Romantic right up to the line of pretension, while never crossing. Minimalist to the point of (um?) exhaustion. It's like the soundtrack to the film you always thought you'd make.

The solo viola with simple back synth, and the traditional quartet, stark piano (though one relatively croony track, 'Horizontal Variations".) A few moments of dry romance(this is definitely a European record, I can't see this being made in the States), tracks that I've put on mix cd's as openers or closers. But mostly a record that rewards the 40-minute session.

I am slightly confused that I've introduced this record to so many hipster friends but never had it introduced to me.

Anyone who buys this and doesn't like it after a couple listens, I'll buy your copy.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2006
Format: Audio CD
3 1/2

Carrying the torch of such minimal maestros as composer Arvo Part, this beautiful, meditative piece of neo-classical music flows nicely as an album but hardly digs as deep as some of the more profound moments powerfully demonstrate. The lush piano and violin centered minimalism begins and ends with the most powerful "sketches", as most of the remaining brief half hour mulls over a few melodic themes while interspersing appropriate spoken word to this strange little disc. A unique, at times sacred experience onto itself, the fleshed out tracks still massively outshine the constant filler, albeit filler of a supremely classy order.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
When I told a friend of mine how much I enjoyed this disc, he wondered how I could praise it so highly when there's already a world of classical music out there that I haven't heard. At the time, I didn't really have a response other than that I really enjoyed it, and really that's about what it comes down to. In my days, I've listened to a lot of classical music in trying to find what I enjoy. On occasion I like my Mahler and Wagner and Debussy and Beethoven and Mozart and even a little Vivaldi and others. However, my most listened-to classical piece is the 3rd Symphony by Henryk Gorecki. It's a piece that would be considered modern by most, yet it moves me like no other piece of classical music I've heard, and that's what it comes down to.

Technically, Richter can't simply be lumped into the classical category, because his album incorporates electronics, found sounds, and spoken word excerts as well. When I read about it some time ago, I thought the idea that there would be readings by actress Tilda Swinton mingled in sounded a bit pretentious, but he pulls it off quite well. A majority of the music on the release is comprised of a string quintet and piano, and it's that heart-wrenching work that really makes the album stand out. In fact, the second track of "On The Nature Of Daylight" might be the most moving on the disc (and in fact one of the more beautiful tracks that I've heard all year) as swells of strings ebb and flow while plainative violin melodies weep.

"Horizon Variations" finds Richter playing a touching solo piano piece while the album veers even more on "Shadow Journal," an 8-minute epic that starts out with readings by Swinton subtlely drifting over the sounds of a typewriter before a violin melody weaves over an electronic loop. Eventually, a filtered harp loop sweeps in and a low electronic rumble sets the whole thing in motion. "Iconography" sends a ghostly choir over almost exuberant organs while "The Trees" again brings back the string quintet alongside the piano for a lovely comedown. While the album mainly moves with a melancholic air, it's far from being depressing. Sometimes fragile, and often beautiful, The Blue Notebooks is one of the more stunning pieces of music that I've heard this year.

(from almost cool music reviews)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
this album is complete. sensitive, brooding, deep. it falls somewhere between classical minimalism and ambient electric in the most positive ways. there is a definite sense of isolation and abandon in the music, but it achieves a subtle feeling of hope as well. much creation, much drama. beautiful music.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I don't fancy myself an expert on classical music but this is one of those records that somehow manage to generate word-of-mouth in indie circles and thus I became aware of its existence. If you think about it, many people became acquainted with John Zorn in the same way and he's yet another example of a `composer' that has a lot of fans among indie music fans.

As for the music itself, the words that best describe the sound contrived by Max Richter on 2004's `The Blue Notebooks' are dreamy and blissful.

This is, in short, an achingly beautiful classical album made of short compositions built with a relatively stripped-down orchestration. It's one of my favourite albums and, as such, it gets near-constant playing at my place.

Frankly, I don't get all the reviews that label Max Richter as a post-classical composer (is it because he uses some electronics?), nor do I understand why so many people are putting him in the same bin as Philip Glass or Steve Reich. Max Richter doesn't seem to be interested in `wild' experimentation, nor is he a minimal composer. Speaking of the latter point, you won't find boombastic orchestration here, the general mood is altogether different, but then, nor will you find minimal composers' penchant for trance-like repetition.

This is not `complex' stuff, it's just plain beatiful.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Richter has created a soundtrack for our time. It is at once reflective and the music itself has the power to carry us to that inner place of denial, peace, sorrow, joy, regret, forgiveness, whether it be for ourselves or those once loved, forgotten or dearly missed.

There is no denying that Richter has created a musical space that is highly personal. Yes, there are many great pieces of orchestral music and many of them convey much of the same emotion, but Richter has done so in a way that is a coherent journey from start to finish. The level of musicianship and production value in this recording is very high; it is challenging to create and execute music at this level. This is the album that Sigur Ros should have released recently but they don't have the maturity (yet) to do so.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Memoryhouse
Memoryhouse by Max Richter (Audio CD - 2005)


Retrospective
Retrospective by Max Richter (Audio CD - 2014)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.