Max Richter
Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works


4.0
excellent

Review

by Aaron W. STAFF
February 21st, 2017 | 90 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been. V.

To be frank, I’ve had no knowledge of Max Richter until two weeks prior. I’ve no knowledge of Max Richter, the man; nor have I any knowledge of Max Richter, the composer. At moments, I feel like I’m out of my depth in this attempt to solve my own dilemma, but there are times when I come to the realization that I’m merely overselling the challenge that comes with covering an artist so foreign to oneself. This challenge is one I’m willing to take, with Richter’s recent work Three Worlds being the focal point in my simplistic goal to progress as a writer. Upon first listen, the hour-long journey that Three Worlds took me on was nothing short of emotional, but left a cold feeling as its presence departed from my thoughts. So I listened again…and again…and onward, but the cold embrace that was left with me upon the fading strains of the gargantuan 20-plus minute finale “Tuesday” always remained. It didn’t feel right, but even then it felt like there was something I was missing. In the hopes of gaining further understanding, I researched the purpose behind Richter’s sprawling composition, learning about its origin within the narrative dance piece that also happened to be this album’s subtitle – “Woolf Works”.

“Woolf Works”, sourced from novels by Virginia Woolf, came to be from choreographer Wayne McGregor’s decision to recruit Richter to soundtrack McGregor’s narrative. What resulted was a two hour-long, three act affair, but here, was truncated to an hour to create a more accessible work. The decision to streamline Richter’s score works quite surprisingly well as it allows for Richter’s ability to draw every single ounce of emotion out of his compositions without making it seem so overwrought. Throughout the hour, Three Worlds and its atmosphere lure you into the realms of Woolf’s novels and what meaning they offer to the score itself. There are several moments when various spoken word segments are interspersed with the composition, one notable usage being the only recording of Woolf herself on “Word”, the introduction to the elaborate narrative. Along with the implementation of spoken word samples, there’s an increased inclusion of electronics throughout Three Worlds, most notably on the lush minimalistic “Genesis of Poetry”. Ambiance seems to take precedence throughout Three Worlds, especially as the score reaches its conclusion, opting to become more isolated and increasingly alien from its beginnings.

The penultimate work, "Love Songs", serves its purpose in significantly amplifying the tragedy of "Tuesday". In a matter of two minutes, it’s Virginia Woolf’s suicide note that brings the entire composition to a haunting stop. It’s here in the desolate ambiance of these two final pieces that Three Worlds finally reveals itself to me, in the elegy for the deceased Woolf does this ultimately take hold of me. It’s here, that at last, I finally understand why I’ve been left feeling cold by Three Worlds. There are times when I listen to the final narrative and its ensuing dirge that I come to the realization that it was meant to be this way, that it isn’t supposed to be some kind of cathartic experience, but to experience something undeniably human within the score’s cold, atmospheric aesthetic. Three Worlds has a way of expressing its emotions without making it feel half-hearted, by extension making it so incredibly chilling to listen to, and it is in this very moment that I give in to its cold embrace at last. It shan't leave this time.



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user ratings (60)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2017


18540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i have no idea how to write about classical music. F.



"Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVLFh0tPTlQ

Digging: Godley and Creme - L

FullOfSounds
February 20th 2017


15770 Comments


god daaaamn you always start off reviews so well

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2017


18540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i was almost going to make this review incredibly story-telling based like Woolf Works is but I kinda opted out because it'd be way too long. I think it's a bit evident I dropped that idea after the first paragraph, but I tried to keep it as an element throughout.

zaruyache
February 20th 2017


20512 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

i have no idea how to write about classical music



yup, me neither. Figuring it out is on my todo list. Definitely check the rest of his stuff if you liked this one a lot; Richter's easily one of the better current modern classical composers and his first few records are total classics in the genre. (If you haven't already.)

Digging: Forest - Like a Blaze Above the Ashes

Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2017


24330 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good work Fripp, this album's a beast. Been working on a review for this myself and yeah it's not easy to write about but I think u touched on the most important aspect of the music: how it makes you feel

Digging: Madison Cunningham - For the Sake of the Rhyme

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2017


18540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

probs gonna download The Blue Notebooks asap



my dig right now is probs my all-time favorite score so that is in the works



Metropolis has been a part of my life for nearly two decades, so with the film now reaching its 90th anniversary (this past January), I wanted to do something cool

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2017


18540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I didn't really touch upon the flaws of this, but I think if there were any, it would certainly be that it meanders somewhere along the line and doesn't really pick back up until "Genesis"





also consider this the long-awaited payback for doing Eskimo a few years back, Atari bro

RedSky
February 20th 2017


308 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This has some of the best pieces Max Richter has ever released to my mind, too bad some of the tracks come off as only background music.

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2017


3182 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review Fripp, hard neg



I think in the opening paragraph you're prob using too many words to drive home your point. You could prob drop "in any way whatsoever" and do some general condensing, because the whole first paragraph boils down to "this is an emotional yet cold listen, but I struggled to figure out why".



"this attempt to solve this particular dilemma of mine" could be changed to "this attempt to solve my own dilemma". This way you also won't repeat the word "this" for a smoother read.



"but there’s times when" - there are*



Start of the second paragraph you've used "came to be" twice in two sentences, but that's a nit-pick. Similar deal here "Richter’s ability to draw out every single ounce of emotion out of his compositions"



"Three Worlds and its atmosphere lures you into" lure*

"There’s several moments" there are*



A couple sentences towards the end of para 2 border on run-ons. You could prob have a full stop after "Genesis of Poetry", for example.



"The penultimate work “Love Songs” serves a significant purpose in its aim to amplify the tragedy of “Tuesday”." could be condensed into "The penultimate work, "Love Songs", serves its purpose in significantly amplifying the tragedy of "Tuesday" . Remember, don't use 5 words where you can use 3.



"There’s times when I" there are* omg



Conceptually, I really like the way the review's written, although "it isn’t supposed to be some kind of cathartic experience, but to experience something undeniably human" as what you just described sounds pretty "cathartic" to me. Again, minor qualm tho.



There are a few points where I think you could use a comma or two, but overall really nice work #fripp4staff2k28

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2017


18540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh sweet



will edit when i finish metropolis (btw you should peep the score for it jac)

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2017


18540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the 'ol trimminz are a'fixed

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2017


3182 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ah sweet I can revoke my neg now

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2017


18540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ron wouldn't forgive you if you didn't

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2017


3182 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lol fuck ron his tail is small

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2017


18540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

as they said in the bibble



"oh no he's retarded"



you don't have blue

you don't have yellow

you ain't shit in this house boi



becky said his tail was big

becky let him s m a s h

that's all that matters

TVC15
February 21st 2017


9896 Comments


How is Fripp not contrib yet

Digging: Dexys Midnight Runners - Too-Rye-Ay

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2017


3182 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

politics mane, it's all politics

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2017


18540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i will make sputnik birb again

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2017


3182 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Birb and Pone 2020

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2017


18540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

first rule of order



exile all nonbelievers



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