The new album by Max Richter is ten years in the making. Based around recitals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the album can appear a little serious at first, almost stand-offish, but the music underneath it is, by and large, a feast for the ears.
After the first of numerous readings of the UDHR, stately strings introduce All Human Beings. There are no real standouts as pretty much everything here is a standout. The largely piano-based Origins, Prelude 6 and Cartography will please those familiar with any of Richter’s previous work. Chorale feels like a centrepiece, with as the name might suggest, plenty of cooing, wordless vocals and stirring strings. Murmuration is one of the more subtle pieces here with swelling strings and an unobtrusive vocal underneath. Little Requiems is bursting with it. Final track Mercy is just gorgeous all stirring, sun-dappled strings, reminiscent of Richter’s excellent Sleep.
There are more difficult composers out there in music, plenty that arguably make more lasting music, and receive more critical acclaim. But in terms of sheer loveliness, it’s hard to argue against Max Richter.
1. All Human Beings
3. Journey Piece
6. Prelude 6
9. Little Requiems