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Sleeping Dogs Lie 05mar10: Ludovico Einaudi

Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi has worked in many musical areas over the years, producing music for theatres, movie directors and ballet companies, as well as releasing solo albums notable for their sophisticated restraint and elegant minimalism. Divenire – Einaudi’s seventh studio album – is a slight diversion in that it’s the first time the composer has collaborated with a full orchestra: the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic to be exact. Einaudi’s compelling piano pieces are still at the core of Divenire and remain as mesmerising as ever, but the orchestral embellishments lend his work a richer, more sweeping ambience. Divenire also sees Einaudi experiment with electronics, though these are used sparingly; primarily as textural devices. While not as minimal as earlier works, Divenire does not embrace the epic, preferring instead to ebb and flow gently between pared-down piano pieces and the fuller, more emotive sentiments of “Primavera,” or the 11-minute opus, “Oltremare.” Representing yet another stage in a formidably progressive career, Divenire sees Ludovico Einadi at the height of his imaginative powers. –Danny McKenna, Amazon.com

‘Divenire’ is the seventh studio album from Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi. Originally conceived back in 2002 – when Einaudi was invited to compose and perform a piece for the I Suoni Delle Dolomiti festival – ‘Divenire’ sees Einaudi backed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic giving a new dimension to his minimalist and moving piano pieces.

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 26feb10: Ludovico Einaudi

The music of the composer/pianist Ludovico Einaudi has been described as minimalist, classical, ambient, contemporary and deeply touching. Einaudi’s name has become synonymous with contemporary classical style. This new album, Una Mattina, features Ludovico Einaudi on solo piano and includes several haunting tracks with piano and cello.

After many years working as a composer of scores and then working in pure classical music, this album is Einaudi’s mostprogressive work to date. It takes lyrical influence from non-typical and pop related topics and this is melded with Einaudi’s contemporary classical sound.

Ludovico Einaudi (born 23 November 1955 in Turin) is a modern-day Italian composer and pianist particularly noted for the use of developing melodious phrases in his piano compositions.

He began his musical training at the Conservatorio Verdi in Milan, gaining a diploma in composition. Later, he studied with Luciano Berio. In 1982, he gained a scholarship to the Tanglewood Music Festival. He currently resides on a vineyard in the Italian region of Piemonte.

Although Einaudi would prefer not to be labeled as any particular type of composer, he is generally considered a Minimalist.

“In general I don’t like definitions, but ‘Minimalist’ is a term that means elegance and openness, so I would prefer to be called a Minimalist than something else.”, Einaudi

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 06: Walter Marchetti

Natura Morta is the term for still life in Italian; it translates literally as “dead nature.” Marchetti’s eponymous work is based primarily on Vexations by Erik Satie, which Marchetti performed in its 20-hour entirety with Juan Hidalgo. Both vast and very brief, Natura Morta is a continuous variation on a very simple, lullaby-like tonal theme. The one-finger melody is played without accompaniment, while the sustain pedal is held always down, allowing bell-like resonances to accumulate. With such spare music, the listener’s mind inevitably starts to grasp for more, and finds it in the local environmental sounds, which embroider themselves onto the piano line. This has a strong effect of making the listener feel totally exposed by the music, as if many figures were suddenly pointing at him. It is this that Umberto Padoni meant when he wrote of Natura Morta: “on its long wave the listener who has a free consciousness and an open heart is projected into the linear uniqueness of his own identity.” In other words, Natura Morta works to evoke and place the listener within the narrative of his or her own life, highlighting each moment as it passes.

The music possesses only slight melodic interest. Marchetti approaches composition for the piano with the same dead-pan documentary disinterest as he does his many field recordings. But via its almost idiotically simpleminded, distracted lyricism, Natura Morta acquires a fairly intense pathos over the hour that it requires to perform. This pathos builds up in the same way that nostalgia favorably colors so many past events to which one might have been indifferent at the time.

Natura Morta was performed in concert with heaps and heaps of fruits and vegetables piled upon the closed lid of the piano. That probably explains the muted quality of the sound that persists in the recording of that performance despite the sustain pedal being constantly down. Although the produce has metaphorical meaning (the weight of death and life, mingled together), there is also clearly humor in the gesture; this style of irreverence is typical of Marchetti. ~ All Music Guide

01. Walter Marchetti: “Natura Morta” (from “Natura Morta”, Cramps, 1989)

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