Max Richter has written a new landmark recording: SLEEP is 8 hours long – the equivalent of a night’s rest – and is actually and genuinely intended to send the listener to sleep. "It’s an eight-hour lullaby," says Max. The ground-breaking new work is scored for piano, strings, electronics and vocals – but no words. "It’s my personal lullaby for a frenetic world," he says. "A manifesto for a slower pace of existence."
Praise 4 Joe: tribute to Joe Henderson. Luca Mannutza and Max Ionata retrace the musical story of the great American saxophonist, who died in 2001, in the dry form of the duo, through the famous compositions of Joe Henderson and the mature and personal interpretation of the two musicians. The dimension of the duo leads to reasoning on the structures of the pieces and on the absences: giving the right place to all the elements that make up the writing and the execution. Interpreting in duo the songbook of a composer, of an important musician, becomes a further challenge, in making ends meet the needs of a concert, a recording, a performance.
Hermann Max keeps on impressing me with his interpretations (I've heard his Bach Matthew passion and liked it very much). In this case he brings together a reverent but emotionally filled production of just a few of the many, many, many Telemann choral pieces that have been neglected over the years. Special praise goes to the counter-tenor Cordier, the tenor Wilfried Jochens, and the two basses Wimmer and Shreckenberg. But really, all the soloists are exceptional. The choir is wonderful. I've never heard such good sopranos, except for maybe Hengelbrock's women. Max really pushes the envelope on a couple pieces, especially one of the bass solos that he pushes along so fast that you can hardly hear the words. Amazingly, the interpretation works for the song and the energy is like nothing I've heard. The orchestra is as professional as any period ensemble I've heard. For those who like to follow Suzuki's Bach cycle, they might be interested in knowing that Achira Tachikawa, the 1st counter-tenor used by Suzuki in his cycle, is one of the four altos in the choir (this recording was made before Suzuki's first recording was). This is my first experience with Telemann, so I can't give a fair comparison to Bach, but I can say that I loved this cd and believe anyone who loves baroque Lutheran sacred music should pick this up as a wonderful find. I can't believe that nobody else has reviewed this yet! I am happy to be the first. Five enthusiastic stars!