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Max Richter: 24 Postcards CD

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Jan. 2009)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Fatcat Records
  • ASIN: B001B3HDF0
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,049 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Road Is a Grey Tape
  2. H in New England
  3. This Picture of Us.P.
  4. Lullaby from the Westcoast Sleepers
  5. When the Northern Lights _ Jasper and Louise
  6. Circles from the Rue Simon - Crubellier
  7. Cascade NW By W
  8. A Sudden Manhattan of the Mind
  9. In Louisville At 7
  10. Cathodes
  11. I Was Just Thinking
  12. A Song for H _ Far Away
  13. Return to Prague
  14. Broken Symmetries for Y
  15. Berlin By Overnight
  16. Cradle Song for a (Interstate B3)
  17. Kierling _ Doubt
  18. From 553 W Elm Street.Logan Illinois (Snow)
  19. Tokyo Riddle Song
  20. The Tartu Piano
  21. Cold Fusion for G
  22. 32 Via San Nicolo
  23. Found Song for P.
  24. H Thinks a Journey

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
'24 Postcards in Full Colour' is the latest and most conceptually experimental release by Edinburgh-based pianist/composer Max Richter. Following on from the radiant and haunting electronica steeped neo-classical compositions of his previous three albums, '24 Postcards...' is a release that breaks down this much vaunted electro-acoustic formula into a varied collection of evocative miniatures, each offering a glimpse into potentially much larger pieces.

'24 Postcards....' is an attempt to explore the ringtone as a vehicle for musical performance and as such, the album contains 24 tracks ranging from 60 seconds to just under 3 minutes. Richter's intention is to premiere the work in various gallery spaces where pre-registered audience members receive SMS messages which results in the playing-back of one or more of the tracks. Indeed, this is an ambitious and cleverly thought-through affair that should be witnessed and must be applauded, but is it any good musically? Well, yes! Richter carves out simple yet evocative snippets of deliciously suggestive classical compositions which arc and gleam with a majestic quality. Similar, both in style and length to a score for a classy film like American Beauty, Richter utilises an orchestra of 9 and a limited palette of instrumentation that consists of string quintet; solo piano; 16 track 2 inch tape; transistors; found shortwave radio; vinyl clicks and acoustic guitars. From this, a clean and melodic sound is born, one that fully amplifies the resonant quality of the instrumental tones but complements it with a brooding and occasionally jilted industrial ambience.
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Format: Audio CD
A postcard tries to capture the essence of a place to send to someone who has not been there, both through picture and message. Max Richter's musical equivalents are equally distilled, and like postcards, they are short (the whole album lasts just over half an hour), and they can be restless and imaginative or quirky and poignant. Richter states that he took inspiration from ringtones, those brief, intrusive, personal into private sounds of mobile phones. Only Richter's pieces aren't invasive or irritating, instead the postcards seem not to have been sent from real places, but some sort of dream world. Not a Lynchian nightmarish world, which is uncannily disturbing, but a childlike, imaginative world, where sumptuous and evocative imagery exists to intrigue and bewilder.

Images emerge for that brief moment like the way a postcard evokes a certain memory, but is always slightly different on each listen. `A Sudden Manhattan of the Mind' has an underlying beat, which is slightly disquieting, but contains the thrill, the movement, the energy of urban life and the pulse of the city.

Richter was taught by the renowned composer, Luciano Berio and the influence is perhaps more apparent here than on any of Richter's previous albums. Listening to Berio's solo piano works, there is that same sense of tension and unpredictability that makes everything remarkably fragile and fleeting. Though Berio's pieces are far more manic and dissonant, whereas Richter has a love of melody and the whole album is soaked with a quiet beauty.

His work has always been full of sadness (`On the Nature of Daylight' from The Blue Notebooks is one of the most beautiful melancholic pieces I've heard) and this is no exception.
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Format: Vinyl
As someone who has loved all Max Richter's recordings, from 'Memoryhouse' onwards, I know how beautiful and resonant his work can be. This is no exception, though many pieces leave you regretting their lack of brevity. My quibble, however, shallow as it may seem, is that the running time gets shorter with each album, '24' being half the length of 'Memoryhouse'. Size isn't everything but maybe some of the pieces could have been more expansive. Lovely, nonetheless.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
so sweet
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x89cf8f6c) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89d19b04) out of 5 stars Headphone Commute Review 2 Nov. 2008
By Headphone Commute - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Writing about such music is difficult. Especially when its beauty is escorted by concept. I could tell you about Touch Ringtones, and Max Richter's approach at creating twenty four miniature classical sketches designed to capture the moment and snap you in and out of your daily tasks. I could tell you about Richter's gallery installations where the pieces would be transmitted to the audiences mobile phones via SMS. I could tell you about the twenty four photographic images beautifully laid out on a CD insert (some revealing a reflection or a shadow of Max Richter himself), and on a mini website with a preview of the tracks. I could, perhaps, quote the German-born, modern classical composer, who explains the idea behind his fourth album in his own words: "thinking about how we listen to music now, with the range of options available, I wondered why it is that the ringtone medium has so far been treated as unfit for creative music..." But I won't do any of that. Instead, I simply invite you to listen and decide for yourself... Richter may have an impact on your perception of the intrusive personal wake up call of a gadget humanity should probably live without. I often picture Mozart slapping his forehead at the thought that his genius is echoed through a tiny speaker on a busy subway. Perhaps one day, on my morning commute, I will be disturbed by the alarming calm of Max Richter's peaceful piano playing through someone's Nextel. Perhaps... I doubt it... Until then, I highly recommend an excellent pair of headphones to enjoy this absolutely marvelous collection of sketches whose shortcoming is only their brief existence. Each track ranges between one minute and two, offering you only a short glimpse into a moment conveyed through geographically centered track names, personal photographic snapshots, and of course music itself. The instrumentation for the album is limited by Richter himself to a string quintet, acoustic guitar, and of course, a piano. The seasoning for this recipe includes dusty vinyl, fuzzy shortwave radio, and clicky scratchy samples, all processed by transistors and 16 track 2" tape. The pieces are designed to be a cluster of fragmented impressionistic vignettes, "stitched together to form a series of jump-cuts and foldbacks in time." Richter elaborates further: "because the piece is a collection of tones, where I have no control of the order, I made a structure that holds together by use of shared material - like a cloud of pieces, or a handful of confetti, or a constellation of fragments - to be navigated as you like..." 24 Postcards In Full Colour is released on Brighton Based FatCat Records imprint, 130701, dedicated to more instrumental albums. I highly recommend you also pickup (or revisit) Richter's previous hailed modern classical masterpieces, Memoryhouse, The Blue Notebooks, and Songs From before.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89d19d50) out of 5 stars ALL THINGS ARE A PART 31 Dec. 2008
By Hank Napkin - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Richter has now a substantial body of solo work, not due to volume so much as due to extreme refinement and a rather well-sorted and distinctive lexicon. Set against his earlier, longer- to average-length pieces comprising The Blue Notebooks and Songs from Before, 24 Postcards finds Richter updating the form of "miniatures" - short, evocative sketches which in this case seem intent on coalescing as an integrated suite. Here his chamber-like ensemble sets aside the use of narrative voices (those of Tilda Swindon and Robert Wyatt, respectively) for a purely instrumental line-up comprised of piano, violins, viola, cellos, drums and guitars. Rarely will all instruments be heard simultaneously. Instead, the greater sense of the ensemble is effectively disassembled across the 24 concise pieces, encouraging subtle timbral relationships that drive moments of profoundly beautiful contrast and constancy. Pieces feature everything from the simple and expressive phrases of a solo violin, reverberant above grainy, arid drones, to the dense interactions of muted guitars, percussion and cellos. The overall mood is glimmering melancholia, the playing mostly soto voce, made profound by shifts between highly focused, solo phrasing and dense, textural expanses that all exhibit a compact, well-defined instrumental hierarchy. There's something brilliantly counter-intuitive in accomplishing this work as short segments, rather than as a segmented whole: and the impression made is much more than such an insufficient and purely semantic acknowledgement. The music goes on to accomplish something of an incredibly dissociative unity.
HASH(0x89d19d14) out of 5 stars Appetizer Portions 15 April 2015
By JD Wisne - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Many really strong ideas here, but like other reviewers I wish they'd been developed into fully-realized standalone works. However, if you're looking for music beds for home videos, you could hardly do better for atmosphere and contemplation. And most are already edited down to 2 minutes or less! I really like Richter and this is great Richter, just in appetizer portions.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89d2930c) out of 5 stars rather unexciting 3 April 2011
By Margaret Harmer - Published on
Verified Purchase
The idea of making miniatures pieces is interesting and good. But to me the length of the CD is a bit short -under 34 minutes. There is a mixture of pieces, some with piano, some strings, some guitar and others an electronic mix. But there are very few pieces mixing the different instruments and electronics. The recording is excellent, the sound of the piano is very delicate. The harmony in the pieces is very repetitive, which corresponds to a minimalist style. But the general composition of the pieces are lacking tension, drama, emotion. Listening to the music becomes very quickly boring. Tracks 6 and 15 seem very similar to Philips Glass's sound track from the Hours -which I highly recommend I you are looking for some excellent modern compositions for strings and piano. Track 10 also has reminiscences of Biosphere's Shenzhou, where he quotes passages from Debussy orchestral works in a very soft ambient mix. I also highly recommend all of Geir Jessen's (Biosphere) works. Max Richter's 24 Postcards in full colour could have been an excellent concept turns out rather dull. I do not recommend this CD.
HASH(0x89d29528) out of 5 stars A Look at 24 Postcards in Full Colour 13 May 2010
By Nancy Drew - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Fans of Max Richter should enjoy this collection of shorter pieces. Varied but still distinctively Richter. Moody, sumptuous and captivating.
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