Ludovico Einaudi is an Italian composer, musician and pianist. He has composed the music to a number of movies and TV shows, as well as released a number of solo albums. Whenever I hear his name these days, I think of him playing the piano, surrounded by icebergs and glaciers – in the video to his Elegy for the Arctic – in collaboration with Greenpeace. It’s a beautiful video to accompany the song, and I recommend that you take a look at it. Ludovico is in London, to play as part of the Live at Chelsea concerts. This week has seen Belle & Sebastian performing, as well as the Chelsea Firework Prom. The Live at Chelsea experience is quite an elegant affair. Stalls selling gastronomic food and drinks (think of the likes of crispy duck wrap & endless supplies of Pimm’s) greet you as you enter the grounds. The women are dressed beautifully, and the men are in classic beige chinos and crisp shirts. It is a very quintessential English summertime feel.
Ludovico entered the stage to rapturous applause. He took to the piano that was placed right in the centre of the stage and immediately started to play. The songs are dramatic and mood-enhancing. The tones of the music are a powerful combination of being soothing, fiery, powerful, with so many beautiful turns. You can imagine them being added in to movies to add tension or set the mood of a scene. Accompanying him onstage were a three-piece string section, as well as two other musicians who added guitar riffs and a gently beating drum on occasion. The focus however is of course on Ludovico’s piano playing and he is considered to be one of the best pianists in the world.
Watching the musicians performing together is captivating. They are all so ferociously passionate and incredibly focused. The only moment in the two-hour long concert that Ludovico interacted by talking to the audience, was about 40 minutes in to the set. He thanked the audience for being there and he said that he was happy to be playing in London – ciao. A man of a very few words! But even his genre of music is described as minimalist music. But this did not affect the concert at all. When you see a live band performing – there is normally a singer involved, whose job is to entertain, as well as engage the audience. With Ludovico, the engagement is solely on the mood of the music and his joy of playing the the piano to perfection.
The tempo upped in the second half of the concert, with light displays adding to the drama and ambience of the music. It was a concert that made me feel zen, as well as very moved. For someone who loves lyrics and words so much, this was a different experience of what I’m used to when I go to a concert, and it was a great feeling to be moved so much by the power of music alone. A standing ovation at the end of the show was thoroughly deserved.
Set list: 1. Petricor 2. Elements 3. Fly 4. Newton’s Cradle 5. Four Dimensions 6. The Tower 7. Piano Solo 8. Divenire 9. Numbers 10. Eros 11. Experience 12. Fuori dal Mondo 13. Choros Performance date: 15th June 2017