Whether you’re an avant-garde neophyte, a minimal-music dabbler or a hardcore neo-classical devotee, there’s plenty here to get you started, further your explorations or feed your habit.
A wise man once said ‘always different, always the same’ when talking about The Fall. ‘Always the same’ is often a criticism unfairly levelled at contemporary classical music. This compilation shows both the truth & fallacy of that viewpoint. This thoughtfully put-together double compilation features well-known modern day masters of composition such as Max Richter, Philip Glass, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Ludovico Einaudi, Chilly Gonzales and Ólafur Arnalds alongside potentially lesser known names like Joep Beving, Francesco Tristano, Hilary Hahn and Daniel Hope as well as some welcome formal variations from John Cage, Steve Reich, Jonny Greenwood and Hans-Joachim Roedelius.
Orbiting neo-classical, jazz, ambient, electronica and the expanses between each, ‘EXPO1’ presents many of today’s most influential players from the current wave of post-minimalist composition. The result is a fascinating kaleidoscope of individual musical approaches and styles, both in composition and interpretation. These predominantly piano lead pieces also utilise strings, percussion, samples, field recordings and processed guitar to great effect and although we are talking serene and mellow here, we’re not talking somnolent or dozy – this is very much music for the waking hours.
Listening to a compilation of these great artists rather than their individual albums, creates an interesting and captivating effect, where the musical aesthetic remains fairly similar for long stretches but the composers’ subtly different approaches become foregrounded. Your ears soon become an expert in small shifts in styles and consequently, these discs become hugely rewarding experiences in close listening. Plus, there is just something wonderful about hearing Philip Glass’s moody minimalist piano on ‘Etude No. 5’ segue into Max Richter’s hopeful and glorious ‘Spring’ pieces.
Experimental, thought-provoking, challenging yet gentle – there’s striking simplicity occasionally mixed with edgier abrasion, connecting the multifaceted approaches exhibited here. Reclaim these restrained oeuvres from the world of ominous Scandi-soundtracks and “aspirational lifestyle” adverts, for these great masters of our time should never be relegated to the TV. They deserve to fill, excite and soothe your ears.
"Always different, always complimentary, this works both as a great starting point for anyone new to the genre or a great mixtape if you’re already hooked on contemporary classics" - Derry
cd 1 / lp
- Vladimir's Blues - Max Richter
- Flight From The City - Jóhann Jóhannsson, Yuki Numata Resnick, Caleb Burhans, Ben Russell, Clarice Jensen
- Wanderlust - Joep Beving
- No. 5 - Víkingur Ólafsson
- Spring 0 - Max Richter, Konzerthaus Kammerorchester Berlin, André de Ridder
- Spring 1 - Max Richter, Daniel Hope, Konzerthaus Kammerorchester Berlin, André de Ridder
- Clock Winder - Hilary Hahn, Hauschka
- In A Landscape - Francesco Tristano
- Dalur - Ólafur Arnalds, Brasstríó Mosfellsdals
- Am Abend - Sven Helbig, Fauré Quartett, MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony, Kristjan Järvi
- Mercy - Hilary Hahn, Cory Smythe
- Musica Universalis - Daniel Hope, Chie Peters, Jacques Ammon, Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin
- Letters Of A Traveller - Ólafur Arnalds, Alice Sara Ott
- Portrait Gallery - Luke Howard
- Rolling - Roedelius, Arnold Kasar
- Written On The Sky - Max Richter
- Marmont Overture - Chilly Gonzales, Jarvis Cocker
- Ricordi - Tale Of Us
- Valsa - Rui Massena
- Divenire - Mari Samuelsen, Hakon Samuelsen, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Clark Rundell
- Éclipse - Thomas Enhco, Vassilena Serafimova
- Duet - Daniel Hope, Simos Papanas, Kammerorchester Basel
- HW / Hope Of New Fields - Copenhagen Phil, André de Ridder
- VI French Guitars - YMusic, Bryce Dessner, Aaron Dessner, Richard Reed Parry
- Good Night, Day - Jóhann Jóhannsson, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Air Lyndhurst String Orchestra, Anthony Weeden
- Schlaflied - Sven Helbig, Fauré Quartett, MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony, Kristjan Järvi
- 432 - Joep Beving
- Signals – Lamber
- Berlin By Overnight - Daniel Hope, Jochen Carls