Max Richter’s The Blue Notebooks


Quoting Mark Pytlik’s review found on

“Conceptually, Max Richter’s The Blue Notebooks– German-born composer mixes contemporary classical compositions with electronic elements in a dreamscapy journalogue featuring excerpts from Kafka’s The Blue Octavo Notebooks as narrated by Tilda Swinton– reads like a relentlessly precious endeavor, as new age music for grad students, the sort of record that sagely pats you on the back for being smart enough to seek it out. And yet in practice, despite the fact that it is exactly as outlined above, Kafka quotes and all, there is absolutely nothing exclusive or contrived-feeling about it. In fact, not only is Richter’s second album one of the finest of the last six months, it is also one of the most affecting and universal contemporary classical records in recent memory.”

Max Richter’s new record, The Blue Notebooks, came out early in the spring of this year. His first North American release, it has yet to make much of a mark and most likely will go unheard by a wide audience. A shame because here Richter has composed a truly great modern classical and philosophical work full of drama, poetics, tension and release. I would recommended The Blue Notebooks to fans of everyone from Sigur Ros to Philip Glass to The Notwist to Brian Eno. The album was released on British indie label, Fatcat Records, which makes sense with its electronic flourishes and found-sound experimentation. Fatcat is also home to Mum, Mice Parade and Sigur Ros. To visit and listen, click here.