M. RICHTER Songs from before 4795552

"Songs From Before" has the power to break your heart yet feel grateful for the experience. It is imbibed with ancient philospohies and emotions we have been trying to understand since we transformed from ape. A truly wonderful work that is powerful, emotional, glorious and seductive. A must listen.

. . . one of his most absorbing pieces of work . . . [Richter's austerely beautiful music] continues to cast a spell.

It would be too easy to label Richter's music here as "ambient" yet it does share that sense of creating a realistic environment in which to dwell for the duration. But it's the emotion seeping through Richter's melancholic keyboard work twining with string-trio arrangements, electronics flickering as background texture, which makes this such an essential early work of his.

. . . a precision remaster . . . [Wyatt's beautiful singing voice blends into] the slow-moving, sumptuously welling ambience . . .

. . . "Songs from Before" is easy on the ear . . . A varied and engaging collection.

. . . roots in and branches from folk and classical often surface, but there is so much else going on: Richter skilfully, imaginatively and (by-and-large) subtly mixes in elements of electronic music, rock, contemporary composition and the occasional nod to the fantasy of poetic recitation. Although most of the pieces develop from beguiling, elegant melodies, what makes them so special is Richter's manner with arresting textures and colours -- achieved not only with his keyboards, but also with the strings. These sonic creations stimulate mental pictures of mysterious narratives -- especially when on "Flowers for Yulia", "Harmonium", "Time Passing", "Lullaby" and "Verses", Robert Wyatt is called upon to recite sparse verses -- evoking the work of such chroniclers and visionaries as Bach and Arvo Pärt. And yet with every phrase unfolding a new mystery as if by aural magic, one is irresistibly drawn to this music because it is distinctly and uniquely a part of Max Richter's own sound world.