We’re approaching the first third of the year and it’s time to review which have been the most beautiful albums for Modern Classical and Meditative music category. Specifically, we selected the best 5 releases that we had the pleasure to listen in the first months of the year. We have also mixed together the best songs from the albums that are mentioned in this post in a beautiful playlist that may be accessed from this mini-widget.
Enjoy and feel free to comment in case you feel we missed any major publication!
#1) Three Worlds Music From Woolf Works by Max Richter
This beautiful album has been with us basically from the beginning of the year but its value has been untouched by the passing of time. This is Max Richter’s eighth album and the music of this release comes from the music score that Richter composed for the ballet Woolf Works in collaboration with choreographer Wayne McGregor.9
Compared to the major works from the musicians, this album abandons the post-minimalist sounds of his last releases to embrace a neoclassical style more close to his early works. Interspersed with the larger orchestral moments, we still find, however, a few synthetic inserts which give the music an estranged and pleasantly artificial atmosphere.
This is a must-have disc for all Richter’s fan but, more in general, for all music lovers. It represents a perfect fusion between creativity, depth of sound and enjoyability.
#2) Ichiru by Daigo Hanada
Daigo Hanada is a Young and talented Japanese pianist and composer, born in Tokyo but based in Berlin. Hanada released on last February a little masterpiece, named Ichiru, where he plays delicate and minimalistic melodies on a simple upright piano. The album contains a collection of relatively short but deeply captivating piano moments (intimate vignettes), which collectively show how sometimes the simplicity of arrangement and the immediacy of the melodies may generate an immediate connection between the author and the listener.
This is definitely one of the most lovely albums we heard so far in 2017.
#3) Nuit Blanche by Tarkovsky Quartet
Tarkovsky Quartet is a modern classical and chamber music ensemble featuring pianist François Couturier (who actually created the quartet), cellist Anja Lecher, saxophonist Jean-Marc Larché and accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier. All the music composed by Courtiers and his fellow musicians is inspired by the great Soviet filmmaker, who gave the name to the ensemble; Nuit Blanche, in particular, is the fourth chapter of a conceptual and Tarkovsky’s related quadrilogy which commenced in 2010 with Couturier’s solo piano session Un jour si blanc.
Among the seven works composing this playlist, Nuit Blanche is definitely the album most close to the world of classical music. It is however the most complex to listen due to the fact that melodic and dreamy songs are alternated with some expressive but more dissonant pieces. In its entirety Nuit Blanche remains in any case a beautiful album, never ordinary and played very well. The four instruments seem to chase each other along the entire disk, sometimes merging into a single melodic line, often traveling on parallel roads.
#4) Unfold by The Necks
Unfold by the Australian experimental jazz trio The Necks was selected here in this blog as the best experimental album of February 2017. This work, however, is not for easy listeners. On every track of the album, in fact, the three musicians extract an hypnotic pattern of notes or an interrupted melody and, with lucid calm and alienating slowness, they explore all the details of it. No rush, no accelerations, the pieces unravel endlessly propelled by the incessant rhythmic background. It’s not a relaxing experience. But it’s a interesting journey led by three skilled and inspired artists.
The Necks are jazz trio formed in 1987 in Sydney by Chris Abrahams (piano and Hammond organ), Tony Buck (drums, percussion and electric guitar), and Lloyd Swanton (bass guitar and double bass). In their long musical career they have released 15 studio albums; Unfold, their latest release, has been published two years after their previous work, named Vertigo. The Necks have established themselves among the masters of abstract and improvised music.
#5) Different Spaces by Erik Wollo
Different Spaces is the 21st full-lenght release from prolific and renowned Norwegian electronic musician Erik Wøllo. This double CD contains nearly three hours of immersive space music and dreamy abstract soundscapes. Using electric guitar as his primary melodic instrument, Wøllo creates sustained and seamless tapestries revealing wide-ranging and wide-angled compositions masterfully orchestrated across the two disks.
Erik’s background in 70s progressive rock shines through the album, which is varied enough to permit also a continuous uninterrupted listening.