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5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Amazon's Max Richter Store

Frequently Bought Together

  • Infra
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  • The Blue Notebooks
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Total price: £70.04
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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 July 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fatcat Records
  • ASIN: B003JV4XUU
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,675 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Infra 1
  2. Journey 1
  3. Infra 2
  4. Infra 3
  5. Journey 2
  6. Infra 4
  7. Journey 3
  8. Journey 4
  9. Journey 5
  10. Infra 5
  11. Infra 6
  12. Infra 7
  13. Infra 8

Product Description

BBC Review

Once upon a time, rock'n'roll was for the kids. Parents recoiled at its immoral noise, clutching Perry Como records to their chests as their children rolled their eyes. For years the generations were separated: teenagers craved guitars, elders praised violins, youthful tastes discarded as newfound responsibilities demanded they behave like adults.

But slowly the boundaries came down: prog rock embraced the theories of formal musical training, contemporary classical music like Steve Reich's was embraced by the rock avant-garde, musicians started to namecheck the likes of Henryk Gorecki and Arvo Pärt. Now, it seems, you've got every chance of finding what used to be termed classical music on your favourite indie label. 4AD have Jóhann Jóhannsson, Bella Union have Dustin O'Halloran, Erased Tapes have Ólafur Arnalds, and Fat Cat's 130771 imprint has Max Richter. These days, of course, it's considered experimental music, but that's probably only within the realms of pop.

Of them all, Richter deserves the tag experimental more than most. A classically trained performer with a fondness for electronica, his fifth album is based upon 25 minutes of music commissioned by London's Royal Ballet in 2008 and inspired by T. S. Eliot's The Wasteland. Opener infra 1 begins with radio static before slowly developing into what might pass for the introduction to a Sigur Rós song, and this in turn slides into journey 1, a piece of minimalist piano moonlight still haunted by static. infra 4 and journey 4, meanwhile, seem him employ the same ethic with strings instead of piano, and for infra's 32-minute duration, Richter plays with echoing tones of ambiguous genesis and further found sounds over a platform of tremulous chamber music and placid piano sonata movements.

That it's a companion piece makes perfect sense, and in truth it could work as a soundtrack to something like Duncan Jones' recent film Moon or a documentary about a courageous battle against terminal illness. Like Arnalds and Jóhannsson, Richter is capable of eliciting profound emotions from the barest of foundations, and it's perhaps this that makes their music of such interest to alternative music fans: it offers civilised respite from a mainstream whose colours have become too saturated and whose constructions are over familiar. Your parents might recoil at its alien textures, and your kids might still roll their eyes, but all that really suggests is that classical is the new rock'n'roll.

--Wyndham Wallace

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By The Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 July 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The music of Max Richter is worth getting to know.
His fifth album 'Infra' is incandescently beautiful.
The soundscapes he has created in these thirteen exquisite
miniatures display an extraordinarily affecting interiority.
(Infra = below, beneath and within). Reflective, mesmeric
and utterly captivating, they engage both our intellect and
our emotions in equal measure. Essential sounds.

Piano, string quintet and subtle electronics are employed in hugely
rich and varied formations. The melodic and harmonic structure of
the arrangements seamlessly juxtaposes familiar tonal modalities with
the evocative and sometimes abrasive (but always complementary)
technological intrusions. The marriage is a magical one.

Conceived as music for a Royal Ballet commission ( a collaboration
with choreographer William McGregor) the compositions are romantic,
elgiac and easily approachable. The programatic format is suggestive
of a quest without a clear destination : 'Infra 1-8' interspersed with
'Journey(s)' 1-5'. Mr Richter is a gentle guide in unfamiliar territory.

It would seem somehow ignoble to dissect the whole in an attempt
to describe its parts. The sum total is simply sublime.
(That it was recorded in just one day at AIR studios in
London is an impressive testament to both the composer's
and performers' stamina, determination and vision!)

Music for the spirit in a godless age.

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Format: Vinyl
Get this album in your headphones and walk through a big city at evening rush hour preferably on a dark, cold night, this is what this music was designed for it is a meditation on humanity, on disconnection and isolation but with a wonderful undercurrent of hope. I saw it performed live and it(along with the animations) was profoundly moving. Richter has written a soundtrack to modern life and their are fewer finer pieces of music out there in my opinion.
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Format: MP3 Download
More a sound poem that out and out music. Good as background, and good to really listen hard to, there is so much in it.
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