Outstanding neo-classicism from German composer/pianist

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Max Richter – The Blue Notebooks

“If one pricks up one’s ears and listens,” Tilda Swinton reads from Kafka at the start of this album, “when everything round about is quiet, one hears, for instance, the rattling of a mirror not quite firmly fastened to the wall.” Superficially, Richter’s second album consists of benign classical ambience. But following Kafka’s imprecation to listen closely, deeper layers of content reveal themselves. Blue Notebooks is full of deceitfully tranquil, borderline supernatural music:string-led and redolent of Michael Nyman, often augmented by the sort of pulses and field recordings favoured by Boards Of Canada. Uneasy and absorbing.