One of the most influential, progressive composers of the last decade, Max Richter strikes us as the type of writer who is confidently taking pains to ensure each new work he contributes to the classical canon is both exceptional in its own right and worthy of its forebears. Listen to most anything from his full-length albums, production work and film scores and you’ll discover he succeeds in this endeavor nearly every time. Part of his appeal draws not simply from his melodic dexterity, but from his penchant for setting his work in a variety of contexts outside conventional classical lines. Indeed, 2008’s 24 Postcards In Full Colour is perhaps the richest collection of ringtones ever produced. On “Infra 4,” Richter continues this tradition, delivering a pulsing, textured string arrangement that will feel familiar for his fans, though no less moving. The song comes from Infra, a collection of new compositions commissioned for and inspired by the Royal Ballet’s production of the same. Written by Wayne McGregor, Infra was inspired by T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and translates to “below” in Latin. “Infra 4,” with its hauntingly austere character, embodies the poem’s tone wonderfully. Infra arrives July 20 via the FatCat label.
“Infra 4” (download):