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Max Richter's Exiles. Rich orchestral textures, vibrant performances, political engagement / Planet Hugill

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Prolific and pioneering composer Max Richter releases his 33-minute work Exiles on a brand new album of the same name on Deutsche Grammophon. The title piece features alongside expansive reimaginings of tracks composed by Richter for a Virginia Woolf-inspired ballet, Fendi fashion runways, Hollywood blockbusters, Golden Globe-winning documentaries, and a record loved by David Bowie.

Profoundly moved by the tragedy of the migrant crisis, Richter chose to channel his compassion into a piece for Nederlands Dans Theater. His ballet score Exiles grew from a conversation with the Dutch company's resident choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot.

"Composing is a way to talk about the things I care about, so when Paul and Sol asked me to write a new ballet for them I immediately began to think about subject matter; what exactly should a new work made in Europe in 2017 talk about?" recalls Richter. "Reflecting on contemporary society, I decided to make a work on the universal subject of journeys … Many of us are lucky enough to be able to influence where we are going, but for an increasing number there are very few choices: the physical journey is a necessity in order for the journey forward through time to continue at all."

Robert Hugill writes....This is the sort of album which is going to get listened to because the music is perceived as relaxing and comfortable, but scratch beneath the service of these deceptively simple constructions and there is far more to them than that, particularly in these vibrant performances.