“This late age of the world's experience had bred in them all, all men and women, a well of tears. Tears and sorrows; courage and endurance; a perfectly upright and stoical bearing.”
– Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
The award-winning composer Max Richter has consistently demonstrated an affinity for narrative and cinematic composition, both in his original film scores and his own albums. (Richter's magisterial composition "On the Nature of Daylight" was prominently featured in the opening and closing sequences of the 2016 sci-fi film Arrival, and was so arresting that it actually disqualified the film for Oscar consideration in the category of original score.) His latest release, Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works, is the musical accompaniment to a theater production based on the life and work of the revered modernist novelist Virginia Woolf. The sixteen selections included on the album are specifically linked with Woolf’s novels Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando, and The Waves. Richter commendably evokes the turbulent emotions and stoic resolve of Woolf's protagonists, and the album serves as an apt accompaniment to the novels themselves in addition to the theatrical production. The album works as a powerful tribute to one of the great literary figures of the 20th century, and expands upon themes present in Richter’s earlier compositions on Infra and Memoryhouse.