News/Review: Einaudi – Elements

This week Ludovico Einaudi released his latest body of work; Elements. Recorded entirely at his own Italian home this year, it’s the follow up album to 2011’s critically acclaimed Islands. Along side this release, he made the much coveted sheet music for Night, the second track on the album, available for download through Sheet Music Direct for £2.49. The download also includes a free backing track for pianists to be able to re-create the original sound of the piece, complete with various string accompaniment.

Elements is a solid piece of work from Einaudi, based on the assumption that his listeners want more of the same. You would be forgiven for thinking you were listening to B-sides from Islands, as not a single track feels like it would be out of place on his previous collection. According to Tumblr user Sekritjay “Imagine the lovechild of Nightbook and In A Time Lapse and you have a pretty good idea of what [the] new album sounds like”

In a sense it’s the recognisable formula that gives Einaudi his timeless feel. A formula that acts as a safety net, meaning he can’t get it wrong, but additionally meaning that when he gets it right, it’s a thing of beauty – tracks from his back catalogue such as Le Onde, I Giorni and Divenire are testament to this. The infallible formula combined with his minimalist approach to contemporary composition is often heralded as a more accessible approach to classical music, although classical elitists would strongly disagree.

Although there may have been a few technical points overlooked, such as the overbearing strings at the peak of Night’s crescendo – detracting from the piano melody – and the undeniable similarities between the motifs of Night and Divenire, Elements is a beautifully constructed album, providing more of the same from the man who brings contemporary composition to mainstream attention. Nothing fancy, just the usual unadulteratedly rich harmonies of unparalleled grace.

Einaudi will be back touring in the UK from 8 March until 20 March 2016, with dates in London, Bristol and Brighton.

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