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Classical 26/03/2020

Composer Max Richter's 8-Hour Work, Sleep, Reaches #1 On Billboard's Classical Chart

Composer Max Richter's 8-Hour Work, Sleep, Reaches #1 On Billboard's Classical Chart

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Composer Max Richter's groundbreaking eight-hour work SLEEP (Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Music) reaches #1 on Billboard's Overall Classical Chart, five years after the release debuted at #1 on the same chart. This week (March 13 - March 19) was the highest-consumption week ever for SLEEP, including its initial physical release in 2015 and its streaming debut in 2018.

In celebration of World Sleep Day, which took place on March 13, Max Richter curated playlist takeovers for Spotify's "Classical Sleep" (on which he appeared on the cover), Apple's "Peaceful Sleep," and Amazon's "Dream Time." Richter also participated in World Sleep Day activations across a number of other streaming partners including Pandora, iHeart, and Tidal, among others. These World Sleep Day initiatives and ubiquity across the DSP's sleep-oriented playlists contributed to SLEEP's rise in overall consumption and return to the top of the chart.

The epic 8-hour work received its North American concert premiere in 2018 at SXSW, followed by concerts in New York City and Los Angeles. Upon the release of the album in 2015, Richter received critical acclaim for the record, with the Wall Street Journal praising the work as "at times so soft and trance-inducing that you can't help but slip into a relaxed state." Pitchfork said of the work, "many of these pieces conjure dreamy states, where ideas seem fluid and flexible and the world around you seems somehow softer."

Earlier this year, the Natalie Johns-directed documentary 'Max Richter's Sleep' made its North American premiere at Sundance Film Festival. It is a documentary film telling the story of Max's legacy, his creative partnership with wife Yulia Mahr, and the entrancing live concerts of SLEEP. Los Angeles Times called it a "pleasurably lulling documentary…gorgeous."

Also this past year, Max Richter surpassed 1 billion streams globally, and surpassed 1.2 million worldwide album sales. SLEEP is amongst the British composer's highest-streaming works, which also include Recomposed: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons and the pioneering early work The Blue Notebooks.

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