Einaudi: Waves - The Piano Collection
Brilliant Classics, Jeroen van Veen, CD
Ludovico Einaudi's aesthetic of emptiness has won him legions of fans worldwide, and Jeroen van Veen's survey of the piano music which is central to Einaudi's style belongs with his survey of minimalists including Glass and Nyman who are less concerned in music as an expressive language than as a commercial artefact. Likewise, his listeners absorb the music less in the sense of engaging with meaning than as backdrop to activity or release from stress. The works on this compendious collection are nearly all 'songs' of between 3 and 7 minutes, with the influence from pop culture that this brevity implies, and sharing with the pop world an economically aware employment of simplicity and repetition so as not unduly to tax the attention-span of the consumer. As Jeroen van Veen remarks, 'Contrary to ordinary classical music, minimal music demands little of the listener but to escape life's troubles for a moment; no comprehensive musical structures ask their full attention.'
All his compositions are more or less based on the music he heard when he was a child, when his mother played Chopin Preludes. Einaudi (grandson of the politician Luigi Einaudi) loved the almost hypnotic soft sound of the upright piano. Because of her he started to play the piano and tried to find his own way. The melody (if there is any at all) always goes down, hardly leaving the classical path of harmonies. His music is ambient, calm, meditative and often introspective, drawing on minimalism and contemporary pop.