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Max Richter: "Going from millions of notes to something direct and simple is my journey."

Door Marc Zisman |

Interview with the German-British composer, star of contemporary neo-classical music, on the occasion of the release of "Exiles", his album inspired by the migrant crisis...

Revisiting Vivaldi, penning the soundtrack of a Hollywood or independent film, composing in the minimalist tradition of Philip Glass or Arvo Pärt, producing a folk or drum & bass album, and a thousand other things: Max Richter is one of the rare contemporary musicians to slalom between genres and projects without ever losing his soul. Better still, continues to refine it.

Active since the end of the 80s, the German-British born in 1966 regularly applies himself to anchor his work in the reality and the evils of his time. After the terrorist attacks in London in 2005 on Infra (2010), the war in Iraq on The Blue Notebooks (2003) and the conflicts in Kosovo on Memoryhouse (2002), he places the migrant crisis at the centre of Exiles, a magnificent album published in the heart of summer 2021.

A commitment that is associated with an unprecedented formal approach. Exiles is a melting pot of different materials, including ballet music as well as orchestral revivals of old emblematic chamber works from his catalogue. Recorded with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic conducted by Kristjan Järvi, these apparently heterogeneous pieces of music manage to form a whole. An album that mirrors the strong personality of this leading player of the contemporary neo-classical scene, a label that never ceases to be debated. But whatever the bottle, as long as you get drunk, Exiles remains a fascinating discographic object. A work mixing more than ever sophistication, simplicity and beauty to which Max Richter revisits during an exclusive interview for Qobuz.


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