British composer Max Richter is the latest artist to join Deutsche Grammophon’s ‘Recomposed’ series, which invites contemporary artists to re-work an original piece of music, making it accessible to a wider audience. Rather than re-working a recording from the DG catalogue as has been the tactic of previous participants, Richter has chosen to ‘recompose’ Vivaldi’s original score for The Four Seasons. The end result is an amalgamation of Richter’s new composition and Vivaldi’s familiar work in a fresh piece of music.
‘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,’ said Richter. The challenge 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. In my notes you will find parts that consist of 90 per cent 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.’
Richter is becoming increasingly well known as a composer for cinema – he scored the acclaimed documentary Waltz with Bashir and his music was featured in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island and Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. He also collaborates with orchestras and ensembles, and creates music for dance theatre and installations.
Featured on the Vivaldi album are British violinist Daniel Hope, German conductor André de Ridder and Berlin’s Konzerthaus Chamber Orchestra. Recomposed is released in the UK on October 29, 2012 - click here for details. The UK premiere takes place at the Barbican on October 31.
Read AJ Goldmann's blog about attending a live performance of Max Richter's 'Recomposed' composition in Berlin here.
Listen to an excerpt on the Gramophone Player below: