Book Series Contemporary Composers, vol. 6

Max Richter

History, Memory and Nostalgia

Delphine Vincent (ed)

  • Pages: approx. 336 p.
  • Size:210 x 270 mm
  • Illustrations:64 musical examples
  • Language(s):English, French
  • Publication Year:2024


This book is dedicated to a major figure in the world of contemporary music: Max Richter


Delphine Vincent is senior researcher in musicology at Fribourg University, where she obtained her Ph.D. (2011) and her Habilitation (2019). Her research interests include film music, contemporary music, gender studies, Swiss music, and opera staging. She is notably the author of «Film into Opera: From Operatic to Cinematic Dramaturgy?» (2023), and «Musique classique à l’écran et perception culturelle» (2012). She has edited «Mythologies romandes: Gustave Doret et la musique nationale» (2018) and «Verdi on Screen» (2015).


A major figure in the world of contemporary music, Max Richter has barely been studied by scholars. This collective book wishes to open new avenues of reflection on this fundamental composer of the early 21st century and to explore his personality in all its diversity. Although Richter’s music opens up traditional musical genres, the present volume addresses the principal fields where Richter is active: solo album, concert hall music, ballet, film and television series music and innovative projects such as Sleep. It highlights three recurring aspects in Richter’s works: history, memory and nostalgia which are to be considered as key ingredients in the composer’s aesthetic. Indeed, Richter displays a close relationship with the past, which he constantly revisits in order to show the present in a new light. Both musical and textual intertextuality are at the heart of his work, which borrows extensively from the classical repertoire and from Weltliteratur. Richter’s postmodern approach explores the way in which the musical signified is constructed, the role music plays in our society, and the connection between music and the past and collective memory. The present volume is a large exploration – which has not the pretence of exhaustiveness – of these recurrent fundamental topics in Richter’s production. A large team of international scholars has been assembled, coming from both minimalism and film music studies, philosophy and music performance in order to offer a variety of disciplinary perspectives on Richter’s work.



Solo Albums
PWYLL AP SIÔN, ‘Past Idols for Present Idioms’: Place, Nostalgia, and Memory Palace in Max Richter’s «Memoryhouse»
LISA BOAS, Songs of Peace: Max Richter’s «The Blue Notebooks» as an Expression of Pacifism
STÉPHAN ETCHARRY, Parler, dire, chanter l’intertextualité: Présences de la voix dans les musiques de Max Richter

Concert Hall Music
FÉRDIA J. STONE-DAVIS, «Vivaldi Recomposed»: Musical Borrowing, Worldmaking and Musical Listening
HOLLY SHONE, Listening to Max Richter’s «Recomposed: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons» from an Ambient Postminimalist Perspective

VIVIANE WASCHBÜSCH, Réflexions sur l’esthétique postmoderne de Max Richter dans son ballet «Infra»
DELPHINE VINCENT, «Words Are Full of Echoes, of Memories, of Associations»: Max Richter’s Immersion in Virginia Woolf’s Works
HOLLY ROGERS, «The Shock of Time»: Queer Hauntings of «La Folia» in Max Richter’s «Woolf Works»

Film and Television Series Music
CHLOÉ HUVET, Max Richter au cinéma: faire face au vacillement du monde
FLORIM DUPUIS, Référentialité et stratégie compositionnelle: Le cas d’«Erbarme dich»(«Ad Astra», 2019)
FLORIAN GUILLOUX, Max Richter et Ari Folman : Voyages schubertiens dans les films «Valse avec Bachir» (2008) et «Le Congrès» (2013)
TRISTIAN EVANS, Royalty Rewritten? Analysing Richter’s Music in «Mary Queen of Scots», «The Crown» and «Bridgerton»

Innovative Projects
JÉRÔME ROSSI, «De l’art des miroirs», de Derek Jarman et Max Richter: Reconstitution d’une performance audiovisuelle
JASMIJN LOOTENS, A Long, Long Night – Temporality in Max Richter’s «Sleep»
JOHN PYMM, The Pictures of Poetry and the Science of Sleep: finding repose in Max Richter’s Sleep