Live Review: Ludovico Einaudi at Nottingham Theatre Royal – 14/11/10

The sound of theatre seats flapping back upright filled the Theatre Royal as the audience rose to their feet and filled the space with rapturous applause and a standing ovation. Ludovico Einaudi, the composer and solo pianist, placed his hands together in prayer and bowed low for us after playing a spell-binding performance of his hauntingly beautiful and relaxingly minimalist music.

Two and a half hours earlier, the Italian pianist had walked calmly across the stage dressed in black and taken his seat behind a slick black piano. The theatre was a void of silence, punctuated slowly by the twinkling first notes of ‘Snow Prelude’ from his recent album ‘Nightbook’. The captivated audience then followed him as he led us through several pieces from the album, filling the theatre with the dreamy fluency of his music and creating stillness in an otherwise hectic world.

This was broken only when Einaudi made a couple of brief pauses to explain the inspiration and personal meanings behind his music. ‘Nightbook’, he explained, was designed to represent the mass darkness of the night, but to portray it as positive rather than negative. He also spoke of a recent concert he played in northern Italy, where he was moved by the stillness of a river flowing smoothly down through the mountains. He then produced an i-Pod, and explained that this would play the harmonics of the piece without ‘the attack of the key’ while he played over the top, creating an unforgettably calming and haunting atmosphere.

The enchanting performance ended with the spectacular ‘Nuvole Bianche’ from his album Una Mattina, which was recently used in Channel 4’s stirring This Is England ’86. Following the audience’s frenzied applause he returned to play one last night-time piece from ‘Nightbook’ – a most fitting end to this magical evening concert.

Emma Prescott

2 Comments on this post.
  • Liz
    30 November 2010 at 00:11
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    I’m a great fan of only two composers – Mozart for ‘old’ classical music and Einaudi for modern. I was born and bred in Nottingham but emigrated in my late 20s (still not sure if I did the right thing). I was very surprised to read that one of my favourite musicians was appearing in my home town and envious that you were there to experience the event. I have fond memories of the Theatre Royal and can well imagine the fantastic atmosphere created by this talented man.

    I read “Impact” regularly – even though I no longer live in Nottingham and am too old to be a student!! Keep up the excellent work!

  • Kassey
    3 December 2010 at 16:04
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    I attended this concert and loved every second. I went to see Ludovico 3 years ago in Northampton and was exstatic when I saw he was coming to my home town. The entire concert was a stunning selection of music from his recent album. But my ultimate favourite piece was his oncore song of “I Giorni” I love to play this piece myself but to see and hear him play it live was a perfect memory from that night. A stunning pianist and composer there is absolutely no doubt.

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