At once, Max Richter’s avant-garde remix of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is both strange and familiar. Poised atop the stage at (le) Poisson Rouge sat the LPR ensemble – complete with a harpsichord! – ready to begin their performance. But something curious happened: the players remained silent as an electronic hum radiated out of a laptop on stage. And when the violins finally chimed in, it sounded nothing like the over-familiar concerto. High-pitched and animated, the violins played against a wave of ambient music that cascaded across the audience in a gradual crescendo. And then, just before providing the resolution your ear so desperately craved, the music stopped; Richter switched gears and dove into the Largo section of “Spring”.

Enter Daniel Hope, our star violinist. An incredible performer, one would assume that Richter’s avant-garde remix is the only Four Seasons Hope has ever heard or played. But just imagine the grueling work Hope had to go through, retraining his fingers and his memory to play Richter’s notes. A complex concerto, at times the music is gentle and delicate, but at others, the tempo is incredibly quick. In “Winter” especially, Hope’s fingers dashed across the bow of his violin, with the entire string section following close behind. This movement proved particularly tricky, as its melody sounded so similar to the original, barring one exception: the downbeat was skipped, bringing this 18th-century piece into modern times.

Although much of Richter’s recomposed concerto was unfamiliar and new, fragments of Vivaldi’s tunes were interspersed throughout. In The Guardian’s review of Richter’s album, Richter is quoted as saying: “My aim was to fall in love with the original again – and I have.” I have to admit, I agree with Richter. And hats off to (le) Poisson Rouge for making it happen.

Although Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was the highlight of the evening, Richter’s enigmatic style shone through in his other works as well. Infra, written for piano, electronics and string quintet, was conceived as a collaboration between Max Richter, choreographer Wayne McGregor and artist Julian Opie. Switching between electronic and acoustic sounds, Richter’s musical lines were fluid and sweeping, creating compelling harmonies throughout. The same came be said for Autumn Music 2 and On the Nature of Daylight. Both featured slow, eloquently crafted melodies and were performed with serious emotion.

A product of Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt and Philip Glass, Max Richter created an ethereal performance that blended all of his influences – post-rock, electronica and minimalism – with those from our classical past. All in all, the concert was a triumph for contemporary classical music.