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Ludovico Einaudi: Underwater

Ludovico Einaudi (piano) (Decca)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
3875461_Einaudi

Ludovico Einaudi
Underwater; Luminous; Wind Song; Natural Light; Rolling Like a Ball; Indian Yellow etc
Ludovico Einaudi (piano)
Decca 387 5461   46:05 mins

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It’s hard to believe that it has been 20 years since this seemingly ubiquitous composer-pianist last released a solo piano album. That was 2001’s I Giorni and it was my first exposure to the world of Ludovico Einaudi, thanks to my dad who gave me a copy – an Italian house guest of his at the time kept playing it and he thought I’d enjoy it. I did. Since then Einaudi’s star has only risen higher and burned brighter, with millions streaming his music around the world, and he has proven himself more than just an ivory tinkler. Indeed, his last few albums have showcased him as something of a sonic visionary, creating thrilling aural tapestries in collaborative projects of varying scales.

As was the case for so many musicians, the pandemic forced Einaudi to necessarily retreat and create alone. Underwater is the result of that time spent at the piano, making music without the interference of the outside world. As such, there’s a purity and warmth to this collection of pieces, perhaps even beyond that of his early keyboard works – helped by what is a super-close recording. It’s a familiar soundworld, of course, and for some it might seem like nothing more than background music. Sure, it’s unintrusive and its seeming meanderings might appear simplistic. But for me that’s the beauty of it: there is an innocence to this music, and that’s reflected in titles like ‘Indian Yellow’ and ‘Rolling Like a Ball’. It all feels as if you’re party to an intimate exchange – the composer in private communion with the piano, somewhere between confessional and daydream.

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Michael Beek