Ludovico Einaudi presents Seven Days Walking at Union Chapel
Three and a half years after Ludovico Einaudi’s last release, Elements, we are introduced to his new body of work, Seven Days Walking, a set of albums that will be released at monthly intervals. Each of the seven volumes focuses on the artist’s experience of walking in the Alps and his continuing discoveries made by following the same trail over and again and the unearthing of new details each time. This was the inspiration to follow differing musical directions deriving from the same root in each piece.
To present his new music, the composer requested two shows at London’s Union Chapel. A working church, it’s an intimate spot filled with pews and stunning gothic architecture that is the perfect backdrop for Einaudi’s pieces, which are passionate, emotive, uplifting and haunting. The acoustics add beautifully to the ambience of the evening, bringing the maestro’s works to life in a way that cannot be experienced from the recordings alone.
On stage, Einaudi is accompanied by Federico Mecozzi on violin and Redi Hasa on cello. The set up is simple, this trio of artists under a spotlight, giving space for the music to do the talking and for the artists’ passion and feeling to come through. Opening up the evening with Low Mist Var. 1 – Day 1, a slow and haunting introduction, the set list is largely based on the pianist’s latest release. A Sense of Symmetry is another notable work, which easily brings to the imagination Einaudi’s walks along a snowy mountain, with richness from the cello.
Peaceful pieces are interspersed with the composer’s more emotive and powerful songs, including Elements, which arouses the audience with the quickening pace of the composition, seen in Mecozzi and Hasa’s vigorous playing of the notes. Originally recorded with percussion and an array of instruments, these artists successfully convey the passion of the music in a way that words cannot do justice.
Ending the performance with The Path of the Fossils, Mecozzi and Hasa plucking and strumming away at their instruments before evolving into full bow strokes, we get to see Einaudi in his true element, completely taken by the song’s intensity, turning to his audience, flushed and smiling, of course to major applause and a well-deserved standing ovation.
Returning for a solo, the Italian composer delights the Union Chapel with some of their favourites, including Nuvole Bianche which, even after many years of listening to, feels like such a unique opportunity. He’s soon rejoined by Mecozzi and Hasa for the ultimate finisher, Experience, an incredible piece with its beautiful violin accompaniment which elicits deep feeling and emotion in the audience.
After last night’s performance, it is easy to comprehend why Einaudi is the world’s most streamed classical artist. His post-classical take on music, although considered controversial by some, has helped show off the potential and varying possibilities of the genre. He’s successfully removed the boundaries between artist and audience and made classical music less concert-hall formal and more accessible to a broader demographic. Indeed, this was evidenced in the fans, the majority of whom were of a younger generation than might be expected from a composer.
A true privilege to experience, Einaudi is not one to miss and thankfully, he’ll be back in London this summer, with five nights at the Barbican between July and August.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information and future events visit the Ludovico Einaudi here.