When Einaudi burst onto the classical music scene some 20 years ago, critics were at first unsure how to react. What to make of a composer who has arguably broken through the boundaries of traditional classical music, forging his own path and attracting millions of fans? How to classify his soothing, peaceful, stunningly beautiful compositions? No one could have foreseen the astonishing precedent Einaudi has set, having had an important role in bringing classical music into the mainstream and at the same time asking us to forget our traditional categories and labels, and just sit back and enjoy his unique works. Pianist and composer Jeroen van Veen has long been a fan of Einaudi’s deceptively simple style. Here he has brought together a personal selection of the composer’s best works, and any listener unfamiliar with Einaudi up until now will soon see why he has garnered the enormous fame and attention he enjoys worldwide today.
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 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.
This release presents the best music of Ludovico Einaudi, whose 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.
Ludovico Einaudi may well become the “Satie of the 21st century”. His minimalist, deceptively simple piano works reach a massive audience well beyond the strict boundaries of traditional classical music.
CDs with Einaudi's music break sales records, the hypnotic calmness of his works being the perfect recipe against modern world’s stress and fatigue.
• Recorded in 2013.
• Notes on the composer.
• Notes on the artist.