7 used & new from £25.00

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Available to Download Now
Buy the MP3 album for £8.49

Image Unavailable

Image not available for
Colour:
  • Sorry, this item is not available in
  • Image not available
      

Max Richter: Blue Notebooks


Available from these sellers.
2 new from £57.95 5 used from £25.00

Amazon's Max Richter Store

Music

Image of album by Max Richter

Photos

Image of Max Richter

Biography

Max Richter trained in composition and piano at Edinburgh University, at the Royal Academy of Music, and with Luciano Berio in Florence.

On completing his studies, Max co-founded the iconoclastic classical ensemble Piano Circus, where he stayed for ten years, commissioning and performing works by Arvo Pärt, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Julia Wolfe and Steve Reich.

In the late 90s ... Read more in Amazon's Max Richter Store

Visit Amazon's Max Richter Store
for 15 albums, 6 photos, discussions, and more.

Product details

  • Audio CD (29 April 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fatcat Records
  • ASIN: B0001FT2EE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,446 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Blue Notebooks
2. On The Nature Of Daylight
3. Horizon Variations
4. Shadow Journal
5. Iconography
6. Vladimir’s Blues
7. Arboretum
8. Old Song
9. Organum
10. The Trees
11. Written On The Sky

Product Description

BBC Review

Max Richter, a British-based, German-born pianist and composer evokes an almost overwhelming atmosphere of nostalgia and something forlorn in this beautifully recorded instrumental album. Nostalgia, because of the instrumentation (piano, strings, organ, harp, speech), the amount of applied reverberation and the subtle use of ambient sound effects; something forlorn, because of the near exclusive use of minor triad chords.

The cinematic atmosphere created at the onset of the album is retained through all 11 tracks. Having trained at the Royal Academy of Music and with Luciano Berio, Richter's approach to producing is that of a classically trained composer, which makes 'The Blue Notebooks' more of a composition with 11 movements than an album with 11 tracks. A typewriter and actress Tilda Swinton reading passages from works by Franz Kafka and Czeslaw Milosz are effectively used almost like a ritornel throughout the album.

Richter has ten years of experience commissioning and performing works by Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Steve Reich and Brian Eno with his ensemble, Piano Circus. 'The Blue Notebooks' is his second solo album. His music reveals an equal fascination for acoustic instrumentation and electronic sounds, particularly beats. It is repetitive but never stringent in the way a lot of minimalism can be. On the contrary, the pieces are performed with rubato and sensitivity. The pieces are more intimate than melancholic, and at times the simplistic harmonic progressions seem slightly self-indulgent.

In particular 'The Shadow Journal' is a wonderfully effective track. Harp arpeggios, ambient sounds, a typewriter and speech establish the mood. A solo violin plays a four-note motif to be much repeated. Then, an electronic beat in guise of a quantized heartbeat glues it all together. Particularly clever is the use of the extracted reverberation from the harp, used as an eerie synthesizer patch in its own right. Near the end of the piece a jay croaks!

The sparse soundscapes are entirely convincing, however they are best explored with a great set of headphones or a capable stereo to make the most of the nuances that create an interesting listening experience.

Like This? Try These:

Terje Rypdal: Lux Aeterna

Steve Reich: Three Tales

Uri Caine: Diabelli Variations --Hans Biørn Lian

Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 10 Sep 2005
Format: Audio CD
I can't recommend this album highly enough. The 4th track, Shadow Journal, is possibly one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard. Difficult to define or put into a category but I'll make a stab at it by calling it a mixture of classical, electronica and ambient/chill out. Simply stunning. £12 very well spent..
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Jones on 29 April 2009
Format: Vinyl
I bought this on Vinyl having already purchased it on CD. You can hear snippets of the tracks from various websites (Y@@@ube etc) though i'd guess if you're reading this review you know what to expect. Modern day composing using technology and tradition, this album offers the lot.. delicated chamber pieces to futuristic pieces. It is very relaxing and therapeutic and I would wholeheartedy recommend this guy's work to anyone.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By T. Almy on 8 Dec 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Like Memoryhouse, Max Richter's sadly deleted first CD, this album is suffused with a forlorn melancholia. The quotes from Franz Kafka (beautifully read by Tilda Swinton), compound the feeling that this is a nostalgic homage to the lost world of East European cultures that were shattered by Stalinist purges and Nazi pogroms. The standout track, 'The Shadow Journal', is impossibly beautiful, distilling the album's sense of loss into an achingly sad refrain for violin and, suprisingly, a jay!

Small but perfectly formed.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Sidney Carton on 5 Jan 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
From all the five star reviews here on Amazon, my expectations turned out to be too high for this album. Tracks 1, 2 and 11 are very good. The rest of the songs aren't bad, but for the most part they start off promising and then fail to go anywhere. The clicking type writer is overused and distracts more than it adds.

Along a similar vein, I believe fans of tracks 1, 2 and 11 will be much better served by Brian Eno's "The Pearl" or "Music for Airports", Harold Budd's "Perhaps", Goldmund's "Corduroy Road" (available for download on iTunes), Arvo Pärt's "Alina" or "Miserere", Peter Gabriel's "Passion", or Hauschka's "Ferndorf".
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Look for similar items by category


Feedback