Ludovico Einaudi – ElementsCultureMusicAlbum reviews
A prominent figure in the modern classical sphere, Ludovico Einaudi hardly disappoints with his greatly admired meditative musical narratives that draw influences from neoclassical, minimalist and contemporary classical and popular styles. Elements is the latest musical offering by the prolific Italian composer to immerse audiences in a world of breathtaking compositions.
Drawing on ideas of “exploring elements in different fields” (from periodic tables to geometry, elements of nature and “the matters of sound and colour”), Einaudi embraces these themes to their full potential as he continues to do what he does best, but also explores other stylistic realms through this 15-chapter journey.
The composer’s instantly recognisable musical voice is captured right from the soothing overture, Petricor. Fluid, slow-burning and haunting at times, the piece slowly blooms with a lonely piano melody (played by Einaudi) with trickling sul ponticello ripples scattered by a solo cello, and eerie harmonics and poignant legato melodies from acclaimed violinist Daniel Hope. From the solemn introductory exchanges, the spellbinding string forces of the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, sonorous bass strikes from the lower piano range and bass guitar, sparkling arpeggio figures from the right hand piano orchestrate waves of crescendos and rich textural and harmonic progressions.
To juxtapose Petricor, the similarly harmonious Night and soul-searching solo piano ABC, Einaudi’s growing interest towards electronic territories makes an appearance now and then in many of his compositions, particularly pronounced in pieces like Numbers and title track Elements. The dream-like timbre from the Rhodes piano in Numbers resonates a dreamy ambiance, and warped sul ponticello glissandos penetrate the sonic space. By contrast, title track Elements is the album’s most pulsating composition, driven by a rumbling guitar and bass pulse and bright Rhodes riffs.
Contemporary classical music also plays a significant role in this album. The spiritual quality from the perpetuating arpeggios in the latter section of Whirling Winds, and the opening parallel piano figures and misty string harmonics and effects in Logos, strongly mirror the holy minimalism of Arvo Pärt. The album concludes with Song for Gavin and three bonus tracks that are faithful to Einaudi’s pianistic expressionism that so many people recognise as him.
Elements epitomises classical-crossover innovation. Einaudi’s music has a universal appeal that has attracted audiences of many countries and cultures, and continues to inspire with yet another enchanting musical affair.
Elements is released on 16th October 2015, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Night here: