Considered a “landmark work of contemporary classical music", Max Richter's solo debut Memoryhouse, an experimental album of "documentary music" recorded with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, explores real and imaginary stories and histories. Several of the tracks, such as "Sarajevo", "November", "Arbenita", and "Last Days", deal with the aftermath of the Kosovo conflict, while others are of childhood memories e.g. "Laika's Journey". The music combines ambient sounds, voices (including that of John Cage), and poetry readings from the work of Marina Tsvetaeva. BBC Music described the album as "a masterpiece in neoclassical composition." Memoryhouse was first played live by Richter at the Barbican Centre on 24 January 2014 to coincide with a vinyl re-release of the album.
Pitchfork gave the re-release an 8.7 rating, commenting on its extensive influence:
"In 2002, Richter’s ability to weave subtle electronics against the grand BBC Philharmonic Orchestra helped suggest new possibilities and locate fresh audiences that composers such as Nico Muhly and Michał Jacaszek have since pursued. As you listen to new work by Julianna Barwick or Jóhann Jóhannsson, thank Richter; just as Sigur Rós did with its widescreen rock, Richter showed that crossover wasn't necessarily an artistic curse."