w/ Ensemble LPR , Tito Muñoz, conductor , Daniel Hope (violin) , and presented by Le Poisson Rouge in association with Wordless Music - SOLD OUT
About This Event
Minimum Age:All Ages
Doors Open:6:30 PM
Show Time:7:30 PM
British composer Max Richter is now part of Deutsche Grammophon’s acclaimed Recomposed series, in which contemporary artists are invited to re-work a traditional piece of music. The idea of recomposing and re-processing musical works was common practice in Bach’s time and the project presents an exciting opportunity to make favorite classics relevant to a wider audience. However, Richter’s approach differs fundamentally from the preceding releases. In contrast to previous participants, such as Matthew Herbert or Moritz von Oswald & Carl Craig, who reworked recordings from the extensive Deutsche Grammophon catalogue, Richter actually ‘recomposed’ Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. He is the first in the series to employ an existing score, ‘inscribe’ his new composition into Vivaldi’s and record a ‘new’ version of a familiar work, thus creating a new piece of music.
Richter is bringing Recomposed to New York City with two live performances. Wordless Music and Le Poisson Rouge will present Richter’s latest work at Le Poisson Rouge on 19th and 20th December. The composer will be joined by Ensemble LPR and violinist Daniel Hope.
Richter was fascinated by the 1725 composition because “The Four Seasons is an omnipresent piece of music and like no other part of our musical landscape. I hear it in the supermarket regularly, am confronted with it in adverts or hear it as muzak when on hold.” Richter takes this recognizable sound into the present and gives a new audience access to it whilst also respecting the original piece and its history of interpretation, so that the discerned classical music listener can enjoy his Vivaldi Recomposed just as much.
The biggest challenge for the British composer was to “create a new score, an experimental hybrid, that constantly references ‘Vivaldi’ but also ‘Richter’ and that is current but simultaneously preserves the original spirit of this great work.” Richter consequently used a range of different techniques, when constructing this piece. He used techniques borrowed from electronic pop music, for instance looping or sampling when working: “In my notes you will find parts that consist of 90% of my own material; but on the other hand you will find moments where I have only altered a couple of notes in Vivaldi’s original score and shortened, prolonged or shifted some of the beats. I literally wrote myself into Vivaldi’s score.”
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Composer, pianist, producer, remixer, collaborator extraordinaire: Max Richter defies definition. An enigma he may be; what is beyond argument is that he is one of the most prolific musical artists of his generation.
Inspired equally by The Beatles and Bach, punk rock and ambient electronica, Richter blends baroque beauty with minimalist methodology, classical orchestration with modern technology.
The result is a monumental body of work encompassing concert music, operas, ballets, art and video installations, multiple film, theatre and television scores and a series of acclaimed solo albums incorporating poetry and literature.
His latest challenges include having taken one of the most recognisable pieces of music from the classical canon – Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – and “recomposed” it for the 21st century.
Born in Germany and brought to Britain as a small boy, Max began taking piano lessons at a young age. His fast-growing knowledge of classical music was tempered by his discovery of punk rock: a voyage of discovery that continued through Stockhausen and the American minimalists.
He studied at Edinburgh University, graduated to the Royal Academy of Music and completed his studies in Florence under the influential avant-garde composer Luciano Berio.
“I had a very classical musical training but I was totally into what was going on around me at the time in the UK in the early 1980s – and that was electronica and punk,” Max explains. “The first gigs I went to were The Clash and Kraftwerk when I was 14. I loved the primitive energy of punk but at the same time I was studying classical music academically and using soldering irons to build analogue synthesisers in my bedroom. For me those things have always flowed together.”
These are the diverse influences at work in Richter’s music: the minimalist aesthetic that traces a path from the composers of the early 1960s (Reich, Glass) through to punk rock and Brian Eno’s invention of ambient electronica in the 1970s; a formal classical education and the experimentalism of the avant-garde; the cut-up methods of electronic dance music and today’s cannibalistic remix culture.
Richter began his career as a founding member of Piano Circus, a contemporary classical group that played and commissioned works by Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass and Brian Eno. Max stayed for ten years and five albums, gradually incorporating electronic elements and found sounds – the building blocks of what would become one of his trademarks.
Next came a period of collaboration with electronic musicians The Future Sound of London (1996–98), and Mercury Music Prize winners Roni Size and Reprazent (2000).
Breaking away from his collaborators, Richter embarked on what would become his first “solo” album, the orchestral work Memoryhouse (2002), which included electronic sounds, recordings and voices. Later used as the soundtrack of a BBC documentary, Auschwitz – The Nazis And The Final Solution (2005), it was recently given its live premiere at the Barbican (2014).
His next album, The Blue Notebooks (2004), was his first with Fat Cat Records and featured actress Tilda Swinton reading extracts from Kafka. “One of the reasons I sent my demo to Fat Cat was because I heard the first Sigur Rós album and it sounded to me like Arvo Pärt with guitars,” he says. “So I knew it would be a good home for me.”
That was followed by Songs From Before (2006), with Robert Wyatt reading from Haruki Murakami, and an album of ringtones, 24 Postcards In Full Colour (2008).
His most recent solo album, Infra (2010), inspired by TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, features piano, electronics and a string quartet. It is an extension of Richter’s own score for a Royal Ballet-commissioned collaboration with dancer Wayne McGregor and artist Julian Opie for the Royal Opera House.
Max’s music has formed the basis of numerous other dance works, including pieces by Lucinda Childs, Netherlands Dance Theatre, Ballet du Rhin, American Ballet Theatre, Dresden Semperoper, Dutch National Ballet and Norwegian National Ballet.
Recent commissions include the chamber opera Sum, based on David Eagleman’s acclaimed book, for The Royal Opera House, London, and Mercy;, commissioned by Hilary Hahn.
In the art world, Richter has composed the soundscape The Anthropocene for Darren Almond’s film installation at London’s White Cube gallery (2010) and has twice collaborated with digital art collective rAndom International, contributing scores to the installations Future Self (Berlin 2012) and Rain Room (London 2012/New York 2013).
His film scores include the award-winning Waltz With Bashir (2007) for Israeli director Ari Folman, and his music has been used in more than 30 other films and trailers by directors including Martin Scorsese (Shutter Island, 2010), Clint Eastwood (J. Edgar, 2011), André Téchiné (Impardonnables [Unforgivable], 2011), Ridley Scott (Prometheus, 2012) and Terrence Malick (To The Wonder, 2012).
He has also produced two folk records: Sixties legend Vashti Bunyan’s comeback album Lookaftering (2005) and former Sneaker Pimps singer Kelli Ali’s Rocking Horse (2008).
Max Richter’s many awards include the European Film Award for Best Composer (for Waltz With Bashir) and further prizes for his scores for Lore and Die Fremde (When We Leave).
He has also recently won Germany’s prestigious ECHO Klassik award for the album that resulted from a 2012 invitation from Deutsche Grammophon to “recompose” Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: a widely acclaimed success that has just been re-released with additional remixes and ambient interpretations that Max calls “Shadows”, as well as a live concert DVD.
Richter picked his favourite bits of the score and reshaped them into “new objects”, layering and looping familiar fragments to reinvigorate a work diminished by overuse in elevators, TV ads and as telephone “holding music”. “I only kept about 25 per cent of the notes but there’s Vivaldi DNA in all of it,” says Max. “I kept the gestures and shapes, the textures and dynamics. There are bits of Vivaldi and bits of me daydreaming about the original, thinking aloud about it.”
Richter believes the composer would have appreciated what he has done with his 300-year-old work. “Vivaldi was a kind of rock star himself: an incredible violinist with long red hair, who formed an orchestra of young women to play his music and had women fainting at his concerts. Composers have always recycled and borrowed other composers’ work, as Vivaldi did himself, so I think he would have had some sympathy with this project.”
In March 2014, as a result of this successful partnership with the Yellow Label, Max Richter signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The next chapter of his extraordinary career is now set to unfold…
Max Richter official site
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Born out of the acclaimed New York City venue, Le Poisson Rouge, Ensemble LPR is an assemblage of New York’s finest musicians personifying the venue’s commitment to aesthetic diversity, artistic excellence and true musical ambassadorship. Ensemble LPR performs an eclectic spectrum of music – from works by the finest living composers, to compelling interpretations of the standard repertoire and collaborations with distinguished artists from classical as well as non-classical backgrounds. The Ensemble has partnered with such extraordinary artists as Timo Andres, San Fermin, Daniel Hope, Taka Kigawa, Jennifer Koh, John Lurie, Ursula Oppens, Max Richter, Andre de Ridder, Christopher Rountree, and Fred Sherry.
In 2008 Le Poisson Rouge changed the classical music landscape, creating a new environment in which to experience art music. In doing so, Le Poisson Rouge expanded the classical music listenership and pushed the popular palette in all directions. The New York Times heralds Le Poisson Rouge as “[a] forward-thinking venue that seeks to showcase disparate musical styles under one roof…artistically planned eclecticism” and “[the] coolest place to hear contemporary music.” The Los Angeles Times raves “[the] place isn’t merely cool…the venue is a downright musical marvel.” With Ensemble LPR, Founding Executive & Artistic Director David Handler brings this same ethos to the creative forefront, channeling the venue’s curatorial daring and merit to the group’s own artistry.
Lauded by the Cincinnati Enquirer for his “natural facility and convincing musicianship on the podium,” Tito Muñoz is increasingly recognized as one of the most gifted conductors of his generation. Recently appointed Music Director of the Opéra National de Lorraine and the Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy, he previously served a three year tenure as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra, appointed by Franz Welser-Möst, and a League of American Orchestras Conducting Fellow. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.
Violinist Daniel Hope said of the work: “Max’s reworking of the score has stimulated my hearing and at the same time given me a new appetite for the original Vivaldi, who by the way, regularly intervened in his own compositions and partially changed them from performance to performance.”