In this series of articles, I offer a top 10 list of my favorite works of modern classical music, focusing on orchestral pieces composed during the last 25 years.
A genuine popular media phenomenon, this piece by Max Richter first caught my attention because it was at the top of the classical music charts in 2014, following the album’s release on the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label. I was curious to know what the excitement about this work was all about.
Richter’s minimalist style had never particularly attracted me before. This time it was different, though, and I found this work mesmerizing.
In this piece, Max Richter takes snippets from each of the twelve movements of the very famous Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi. He repeats these fragments by looping, copying, and changing them and then creates new phrases from musical materials that most music lovers are familiar with. These variations on the original work by Vivaldi are quite an achievement that especially shows a great mastery of writing for strings. It is always a pleasure to listen to this work again and again.
Title: Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, the Four Seasons
Composer: Max Richter
Year of composition: 2012
Structure: Work in 13 movements
Playing time: 44 min
For purposes of comparison, the original version by Vivaldi can be found below.
What do you think?
I would appreciate hearing your thoughts about this work by Max Richter. Did you like it?
The ranking continues next week with the 9th place entry in this top 10.