Album of the Week - Max Richter 'Voices'

Max who you may ask? Ok, I may have surprised some of you with this weeks Album of the Week. The thing is as a child I played violin and I got to a level where I started to rehearse with North Tyneside's Youth Orchestra (true story). About to start high school I quit playing through bullying - perhaps my only regret I have in life. But I digress.

Classical music has always moved me. I've always had a an affinity to Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. Even if you're not a self declared fan of this genre of music but are a fan of cinema the magic of movies like ET, Star Wars, Avatar or war films like Platoon and lets not forget Apocalypse Now's use of Ride of the Valkyrie's then they would loose some of their magic if weren't for the use of classical music.

The preface of this article is to draw your attention to the fact that even if you're not a fan, chances are you've watched something, that's had classical music as an integral part of the cinematic portrayal. The feelings and emotional significance of the characters journey, experiences or trauma.

Society at the moment seems broken - coronavirus has shown elements of humanity that don't belong in a fair and just society - greed, selfishness and lack of compassion. The rich are getting richer, refugees risking their lives to cross the sea in paddling pools are being refused entry to a country that sells arms to the very people who bomb their homes. What the world needs now is more compassion, more love.

Classical music moves the soul, it lends more emotional depth to the experience and with spoken word it adds more grandeur. That's where this album is so moving and utterly brilliant.

Richter has used The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 as the centre piece and inspiration for his persuasively poignant, brilliant new orchestral work.

With 50 tracks and coming in at 1 hour and 47 minutes it would put off some listeners - but how long is the average film? About the same?

I normally pick out stand out tracks for album reviews and for this one I'm choosing not to. I invite you to put your headphones on, lay down,. close your eyes and listen. Really listen to this album - I will say that from the first strings this album hooks you.

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood".

Whether this was deliberate or not Max has released this album at a time where we all need reminding that no matter your what your ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender identity or socioeconomic background is, you have as much right to live freely and with dignity as anyone else.

10/10 - Devastatingly poignant

Max Richter





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