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Memoryhouse

4.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Memoryhouse
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Audio CD, 27 May 2002
£54.99
Vinyl, 27 Jan 2014
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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 May 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Late Junction
  • ASIN: B000067UCZ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 331,040 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product description

Amazon.co.uk

Max Richter's Memoryhouse is a journey though the 20th century which unfolds like the soundtrack to an imaginary film. Combining the BBC Philharmonic under conductor Rumon Gamba--no strangers to recording classic film scores--with atmospheric electronics, the result is a melancholy evocation of love, loss and survival, often with the focus on Eastern Europe. Minimalism with a deeply emotional core, overlaid with fragments of poetic voices, the melodic sensibility lies between Philip Glass's minimalism, Wojciech Kilar's The Portrait of a Lady and the film scores of Zbigniew Preisner. Both the piano writing and the intense lament "Sarajevo" echo Preisner's work on Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colours Trilogy. Other, more electronic pieces such as "Untitled (Figures)" parallel Richter's work with the Future Sound of London and his collaborations with Roni Size. Richter, who was co-founder of Piano Circus, has delivered the sort of intelligent, imaginative, accessible new music one might expect to find on Radio Three's Late Junction, so much so that this is one of the first releases on the Late Junction label. In the composer's words, Memoryhouse tells "a story about where we have been, and asks the question: 'Where we are going?'" The answer is couched in thoroughly modern insecurity, at the heart of a passionately conceived, impeccably performed odyssey of spectral beauty.--Gary S Dalkin

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Sentinel TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Aug. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is my favourite Max Richter album, for the simple reason that there is a greater consistency and overall integration of the individual pieces, than on his other albums. The rising/falling keening refrain is classic Richter, achieved by a combination of warmly luscious piano chords, the plaintive, yearning tones of violin/viola, and an unobtrusive string backdrop, and lodges in the head and heart long after you've listened to it. It is unashamedly emotional music, steeped in unfulfilled longing, and delivered in luscious, rich textures. Given its direct appeal to the heart, its music to fall in love with very quickly. Perhaps the only downside to all of this is that over-indulgence can lead to the necessity to limit your exposure (as with rich chocolate cake?), as too much richness can prove cloying. Once you've explored Richter's various albums, or want to explore something new and more adventurous, try Gorecki's 3rd Symphony on Naxos Górecki - Symphony No 3; Olden Style Pieces Harold Budd's 'Abandoned Cities' The Serpent (in Quicksilver) / Abandoned Cities or Karaindrou: Ulysses' Gaze Original Soundtrack [SOUNDTRACK] What a wonderful sound world is waiting out there!
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Format: Audio CD
I came across Max Richter accidentally when my son left The Blue Notebooks CD in my car. This hooked me immediately with its uncanny ability to relax me and help my mind meander off in interesting and unexpected directions. I subsequently bought several of his other albums, including this one. All are wonderful pieces of music which I have listened to again and again without tiring of them, but Memoryhouse is my favourite. In my mind it is the one that comes together most as a whole, and I particularly enjoy the variation created by the more dense orchestration in some use of the pieces in comparison to the other albums. Sarajevo for instance, builds to a wonderful, short, blast of emotion, before bringing you gently back down again, and Last Days just sweeps you away from the first few notes. It would not be wrong to say that my life has been enhanced by the accidental discovery of Mr Richter's wonderful musical gifts and I cannot recommend this album enough.
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Format: Audio CD
This is an album that starts from its cover. A railway line and station somewhere in Europe. Title "The Memory House." Black and white, bleak. My mother came from Austria. She lived under the occupation of the Russians and the first track invokes this bleakness rain and all. The poem, Russian? Moving, raising the emotions, what is she saying? What journey is the composer taking us on? So many unanswered questions.
This beautiful album became personal very quickly with its silky changing moods. The music is thought provoking. Be ready to grit your teeth. Let the music take you anywhere you want with its startling nuances. Listen for the Mahler drum! and when the journey is over take time to look at the photograph once more. A memory house; a museum for conversation. Truely some great music from Max Richter.
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Format: Audio CD
Max Richter - Memoryhouse (FatCat / 130701)
Originally released on the BBC's Late Junction label back in 2002, Max Richter's Memoryhouse is a collection of classical pieces, recorded with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Fortunately (for me...) the feel and tone of these recordings can easily be compared to contemporary post-rock and will probably appeal to fans of both Phillip Glass and A Silver Mt. Zion, together with any number of bands more interested in layers of sound and atmosphere rather than the whole verse, chorus, verse malarkey.

The music on Memoryhouse is sometimes spacious and sparse, and at other times quite dense, though thoroughly accessible throughout. Richter may not be interested in tunes to be whistled but he never forgets to involve the listener, whether through huge, soaring passages or the tiniest of details. I like it a lot. 9/10.
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Format: Audio CD
This album defies categorisation. It breaks down the barriers between genres and should simply be classified as great music. In this respect Max Richter should be considered along side the likes of Nitin Sawhney. There are moments in this album where I found myself moved to tears as in the extraordinary track Sarajevo which builds and builds until the full tragedy of that war torn city seemed to leap out and enfold me. Some tracks wash over you like a refreshing stream a bit like the best Cafe Del Mar chill out albums and then there's the kind of stuff that you might find in a tense pacy thriller; film makers would die for it.
Memoryhouse comes from the soul, and it certainly stirs the soul when you listen to it. The more you play it the deeper it seems to go. It's my favourite new album and well worth buying.
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Format: Audio CD
Brings tears to my eyes - is the photo of one of the stations serving a concentration camp? It could be.
It is bleak, moving and unforgettable. When I heard part of it on the radio for the first time it gave me one of those 'what IS that?' moments. Only ever had that twice before: with Verdi's requiem and one particular piece of Bach.
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Format: Audio CD
I have been searching for weeks to obtain a copy of Max Richter's "Memoryhouse". I thought "The Blue Notebooks" was a stunning CD, and I can't understand why the label Late Junction would not have the smarts to market "Memoryhouse" hot on the heels of the success of Richter's second album. It is highly unfortunate that this CD has been discontinued after less than 3 years in release. I hope someone comes to their senses and re-releases this much neglected album.
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