Famous for his subtle and emotional modern classical albums, Max Richter is also renowned in the score writing business. His latest efforts for the Leftovers are striking as always, focusing on minimal piano tracks accompanied by the subtlest of strings. With careful themes, Richter creates entire worlds of sound.
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All these people we've been bigging up for years like Frahm, Arnalds and Richter have shifted over to scoring films and telly. It just had to happen. Max Richter has been very prolific of late scoring lots of things, and this (for me) is the best thing he's done in ages. I watched the TV series which I found enjoyable and irritating at the same time (until the end, when it sorta made sense) -- but the highlight for me was the music, which I obsessively scoured on Youtube for a bit until the OST was available. Here it is, physically, finally, also on limited vinyl.
The opener is about as moving as you get with dare I say it haunting strings, choral vocals and more melancholy than you shake a shitty sick at. I don't know about you but I love my melancholy and the thing I like about Max Richter the most (apart from his hair...) is his ability to crush you emotionally with his use of strings, piano and electronics. The simple rolling piano refrain in the 'Departure' kills me every time. I'm glad I'm bought those 'in app' extra lives...
The album is more akin to the Blue Notebooks with his distinctive style of minimal electronics, piano and misery strings and it's my favourite piece of his work since 'Songs From Before'. It's a frighteningly good modern classical soundtrack!
8/10 Phil Ball Customer review, 7th September 2015
It has to be said I love Max Richter's music, especially the soundtracks and film scores he has been involved in so I was very pleased when Silva screen decided to release this record on vinyl. The music is from the HBO series about the aftermath of a worldwide event that left 2% of the population missing.
The opening tracks of the record are a typical Richter affair and it was easy to feel at home with his crafting of beautiful strings and piano. It is familiar territory for a Max Richter record but that is no bad thing as the music is sublime. As the first couple of tracks finish however, the music picks up pace and when the drums start rolling and the violins get louder and louder it starts to feel like this soundtrack means business.
The first listen to the record was through headphones and the music volume did range significantly from the delicate to the thunderous which had men reaching for the volume control which can be fairly annoying when the peak is short lived and you have to turn it back up again.
The tracks on the album are all pretty short but one of the highlights of side A is De Profundis, a glorious affair of Romanesque choir, wind instruments and piano. Its moments like which make Max Richter stand out from many of his Neo classical contemporaries. Mixed in with the epic strings and delicate pianos you get Foreboding drums sounding reminiscent of Hans Zimmer before fading back into calming piano once more.
Side B kicks straight into action and the music is much less subtle than that of side A hitting somewhat uncomfortable highs on the strings that feel slightly out of place being just a little to high. This is hampered even further by what seems a noisy pressing with a lot of surface noise and the music gets slightly distorted even at low volume. Through headphones, this verged on uncomfortable but through speakers was much more tolerable. The rest of the album plays out in familiar territory to side A and if you, like me, are a fan of Max Richter or a fan of Neo classical music then The Leftovers won't disappoint. It isn't on par with other Richter film scores such as the Congress and doesn't tread any new ground but the sound and style is still truly sublime. Richter does strings and piano like no other and has carved a sound which is his own and all those elements are on show.
A great soundtrack let down in places by surface noise and distortion but one well worth your time.
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- The Leftovers - Music From The HBO Series - Season One by Max Richter
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