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Richter, Max: 24 Postcards in Full Colour

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.

Track Listing

  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

Added: January 2nd 2009
Reviewer: Kerry Leimer
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 2315
Language: english

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