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There is prolific and then there is Max Richter. The 49-year-old German-born British composer has composed and recorded his own music, in addition to writing for theater, ballet, opera, cinema and television. He has collaborated with numerous artists, both those in music and those in other mediums. Later this year, he will be debuting an eight-hour composition called SLEEP, which Richter has described as "an eight-hour lullaby." So suffice to say, that it should astound most to know that throughout this prodigious output, Richter has almost never stumbled. In fact, his 2004 solo release, The Blue Notebooks, has proven to be one of the most affecting of the past 15 years. Richter's masterful ability to explore the human mind through his haunting post-minimalist compositions and selected readings from Kafka and Miłosz showcased him at the top of his game.

But even on his numerous other releases, including 2002's Memoryhouse and his haunting score for the 2010 documentary How To Die In Oregon, Richter has always proven himself to more than capable of capturing a mood or a feeling better than practically any other artist in any medium. And so, when tasked with providing a score for the HBO program The Leftovers, Richter was given the opportunity to prove this point.

To appreciate Richter's soundtrack, a viewing of the show is certainly not necessary, but watching it will provide you with an idea of just evocative his score truly is. Certain scenes that would otherwise drag are carried entirely under the weight of Richter's considerable talents. His compositions have enough flourish and flair to stand apart and capture attention, while a hefty amount of his classical training, which he received at the Royal Academy of Music and under the tutelage of avant-garde composer Luciano Berio, provides his music with a heady core that appeals to hardcore classic music lovers.

Perhaps Richter's greatest strength as a musician is his penchant for playing with silence. On 'The Departure', a painfully moving piano piece, the sonic scape of the music feels vast and lonesome, giving listeners the sense of heart-wrenching loss and loneliness. The haunting build toward a powerful violin feature on 'De Profundis' uses the silence around the early ambient instrumental to set the stage for a powerful middle, followed by more ghostly atmospherics at the close.

The builds found in 'Dona Nobis Pacem 1' and 'Dona Nobis Pacem 2' are of an equally strong caliber. Featuring a kaleidoscopic swirl of strings and synths, both pieces provide cathartic release after the subdued and unrushed approach of the rest of the record.

This is a stirring score deserving of a physical release and thankfully, Silva Screen Records has provided Richter's exceptional work with such an opportunity. This is perhaps the best television score written in recent memory, making the fact that this Richter's first foray into television all the more impressive. The music is haunting and impassioned, full of vivid life and the unspoken stories of the characters that inhabit Richter's composition. There is enough power here that Richter has been able to elevate an entire television program. So as this Renaissance man of classical music continues to leave his indelibly gilded mark on everything he touches, it is hard not to become giddy with excitement. Richter is a musical genius and his exceptional releases, for television or bedtime or anywhere else, will continue to stun listeners in extraordinary ways.

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