11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
An impossibly beautiful composition,
This review is from: Songs From Before (Audio CD)
Max Richter deems his music 'post-classical,' but I guess it can also be called ambiental, electronic, minimalist - if one MUST put a label on it. This album represents however one of those very rare instances where this association of the 'classical' and 'modern' labels is not giving credit to or benefits the latter, but on the contrary is seems that it is the'classical' that has been ennobled and refined through its association with the electronic and the modern treatments. Doubtful or skeptical? Give this album a listen. I for one have found it difficult to recall such a rounded, accomplished and complete composition (for this is a 'composition' in the true sense of the word, whatever that means). If you have listened to modern 'heavy' music ranging from post-rock to minimalist to ambiental work (or even, dare I say, contemporary classical) this is very likely to seem like a unique work, a peak, a supreme accomplishment you will cherish dearly.
Even if his previous album(s) announced Richter as a serious musician capable of unexpected greatness, I was still blown away at the outworldy combination of harmonies, delicacy, and beauty, outright unashamed beauty, that he has succeeded on this album. This is an extremely sad 'symphonic' work yet graced with a special bitter sweetness, of lonely walks at night on the deserted streets of the city - but so soulfull and heartfelt and personal that this music cannot be called dark. This can easily become the sountrack to one's lonely evenings, to one's falling asleep, to relaxing afternoons, to maudlin mornings - and so personal it is (I keep using this word for lack of a better one) that you almost feel it is your own inner music that's beeing played.
In fact it's almost impossible to describe it in words - perhaps the true sign of a masterpiece. It is a beautiful (impossibly beautiful!) album and that's that. Listen to it and it will become a part of you, bringing with it a slice of life, of ineffable realizations, of quiet revelations, of atmospheric delicate sweet sad mysterious movements.