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Islands – Essential Einaudi

Ludovico Einaudi

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Album Review

One of those composers whose name you might not be instantly familiar with, but whose music you certainly will be, Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi has been captivating audiences for the best part of two decades with his beautifully delicate and minimal arrangements, many of which have gone on to become soundtrack staples for everything from costume dramas to TV adverts to Hollywood films. Celebrating his increasingly popular output, Islands: Essential Einaudi compiles the Milan Conservatory graduate's most recognizable pieces, with material from his first solo piano record, Le Onde ("Questa Notte"), right up to 2009's synth-based Nightbook (the gothic cello-led title track), alongside a brand new composition, "The Earth Prelude." There are also two of his contributions to the small screen, "Fairytale," whose simple melodies reflect the elegance of the 2002 Keira Knightley ITV adaptation of Doctor Zhivago it appeared in, and the suitably haunting "Berlin Song," which soundtracked Shane Meadows' unflinching kitchen sink drama, This Is England '86. The bombastic symphonies of "Primavera" and the warm subtle strings of the ubiquitous "Divenire," both collaborations with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, show Einaudi is just as capable of producing a more expansive sound, but his trademark, ambient ivory-tinkling is much more powerful when it's left to its own devices, as on the lilting "Passagio," the gorgeously melancholic "Dietro Casa," and the effortlessly soothing "I Giorni," the title track from his 2001 breakthrough which recently and belatedly entered the U.K. Top 40 following Radio1 DJ Greg James' championing it as the ultimate therapeutic track to unwind to. Einaudi's signature sound may be a little too sedate for those who like their neo-classical music a little more rousing, but Islands' ability to stir up emotions with just a few chords shows that his works are far from easy listening fodder. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Love everything he does

One listen to "The Earth Prelude" or "Andare" and you will be hooked. I love Einaudi for the same reasons I love Josh Kramer, Thomas Newman and Ennio Morricone. They all know how to convey emotion in a way that most composers and artists don't. I would highly advise checking out Einaudi's other works, as well as Josh Kramer's (especially his most recent "Shades of Grey"), as well as any of Thomas Newman's scores. These will be candy for your ears.

Wow...

Einaudi is one of the most under appreciated artists I have heard. This is a must buy for anyone who truly appreciates music!.

Another great CD!

I love listening to Einaudi, I'm not quite sure what iTunes is trying to say by slapping a "Parental Advisory" on the album or by listing "Melodia Africana III" as "Explicit" but I can guarantee their is nothing explicit about this album at all.

Biography

Born: November 23, 1955 in Turin, Italy

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi was born in Turin, November 23, 1955. His mother, also a pianist, would play for him as a young child, planting the seeds for what would become a fruitful, illustrious career. Einaudi studied under Luciano Berio at the Conservatory of Milan, graduating with a diploma in composition. In 1982 his talents would win him a scholarship to the Tanglewood Music Festival. The experience opened Einaudi's ears to new ideas like minimalism, world music influences and aspects...
Full Bio