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Ludovico EiNAUDI
Eden Roc

Yerevan
eden roc
fuori dalla notte
due tramonti
nefeli
odessa
ultimi fuochi
giorni dispari
julia
fuori dal mondo
ultimi fuochi II
un mondo a parte
password
yerevan II
exit

Ludovico Einaudi (piano) with Djivan Gasparian (duduk), Antonello Leofreddi (viola), Marco Decimo (‘cello), Franco Feruglio, Stefan Dall’ora, (double bass), Ricky Maja (guitar), Quartetto David
Recorded 16th June 1999 live at Piccolo Teatro Studio, Milan, and 8th-10th July at extra production studio, Milan
BMG Ricordi 74321 70717 [64:37]

Einaudi is a composer with an impressive pedigree behind him. He trained at the Verdi Conservatorio in Milan under Azio Corghi and later under none other than Luciano Berio, travelling to the US in the early ’80s with a music scholarship. There he attended Tanglewood, where he had pieces performed, along with many other prestigious international venues.

All of which makes it hard to come to terms with the almost total vacuity of this music. Einaudi has one or two good ideas, but gives the impression that he has not the faintest notion of where they might go or what to do with them. Each short piece meanders on repetitively for its duration, the mood rarely breaking surface above a kind of generalised adolescent melancholy which is very dispiriting. In truth, I’ve heard a lot that’s preferable to this on tapes of music submitted by fifteen-year-olds as GCSE compositions.

The sad thing is that he has with him some good performers, who invest the music superficially with a certain credibility, and do at least make it easy on the ear; Djivan Gasparian plays superbly on the duduk (a flute-like folk instrument), and Quartetto David play with commitment, especially their viola player Antonello Leofreddi, who is featured prominently on one or two tracks.

I suppose it’s possible that this music would work well as the accompaniment to dance or mime. Einaudi has been involved in a great deal of what is described as ‘multi-media’ work. Some of the more ‘atmospheric’ tracks featuring the duduk (e.g. Yerevan II) will be the answer to some travelogue producer’s prayers. But this music is far too slender to stand up on its own.

Gwyn Parry-Jones


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