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At some point fairly early in the second work, as a listener my mind started to wander along with the music -- the gilded stucco puttis and dragons above, the figures of the twelve apostles adorning the walls -- and I wondered if this is what the Pope had in mind four hundred years ago. Einaudi has written a considerable amount of music for the cinema and I found that I could easily envision a character sitting in a café with a drink and a cigarette as I listened. Perhaps a good concert setting might include blankets under the stars at a cross-over concert of a summer music festival.

My focus returned with the final section centering around the bass ostinato E-D-C sharp-C natural-B (quarter, quarter, quarter, eighth, eighth). Many repetitions, the use of octaves and the lower bass register brought the work to an ending on the dominant that just sort of happened. A short encore, also in common time, closed the program.

As a pianist, Einaudi ellicits a warm tone that doesn't vary much. He executed some nice quick arpeggiations, but could have had more depth of tone in his melodic material. He has a nice control of the pedal and a good sense of rhythmic pacing.

As a composer, his music is quite static. Rhythmically, he relies on a moderate to slow 4/4 meter with the only variation being an occasional pause on the half or full measure. His divisions of the beat with regard to melodic and harmonic variations are also very regular with a rare triplet figure or syncopation. The dynamic range remains between piano and mezzo forte. It's all very pleasant. It doesn't go anywhere and no one's ever going to be offended. I imagine his music might be popular with aging hippies, who think 'traditional' classical music is boring. Interestingly, he received his Diploma in composition under the guidance of Luciano Berio.

Copyright © 11 June 2008 Karen Haid, Rome, Italy






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