This is a real special night on many levels. Not only does this very night mark the return of the classical maestro Ludovico Einaudi in support of his new album ‘In A Time Lapse’, but this is also a first for us; the very first classical music review conducted by Hit The Floor Magazine! But what better way to embark on new territory than tonight’s prestigious display.
The last time I came to this wonderful venue in London, it was a totally different state of play… it was a raucous yet party atmosphere with a couple thousand people standing and jumping up and down celebrating at a punk rock show. So by all means by preconception, a gig like that should absolutely overshadow a seated classical concert, right? Well if you would think that, then you would be gravely mistaken, for tonight is a different sort of beast.
A sold out crowd fills the seated venue top to bottom. A gentle, sophisticated, yet sublime atmosphere of people from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures. Stereotypically speaking, everyone from those higher up in the financial food chain, to the rough-diamond looking punks. It really is a significant contrast as to witness a rare combination of the most unlikeliest of people to home in and broaden their diversified musical tastes. It seems that Ludovico Einaudi has a huge crossover appeal on all accounts! But this is the beauty of classical music. It is the foundation of emotion, audible poetry without words, and the creative pallet for many an inspired soul.
The warm up before the proceedings sees tonights musicians prepping their instruments of choice before Ludovico takes the stage. An instrumental arrangement of violins, violas, cellos, varied percussion, guitars, bass, glockenspiel, and even electronic based equipment, but to name a few. These musicians are all positioned centre and to the right of the stage, and of course… there is that bloody lovely yet magnificently grand piano positioned to the left. Naturally when the lights dim, here enters the man himself, Ludovico Einaudi to a rapturous response.
What proceeds in the next couple of hours (which I will go on record for saying this) is literally one of the most captivating and emotive live performances I have ever seen in 13 years of going to concerts. In fact, the last time I was this emotionally gripped by a performance was witnessing Mono with the Holy Ground Orchestra a few years ago at the Koko.
But Einaudi and his ensemble perform with such beauty and tenderness, that it makes you wonder if there is a backing track being played. Everyone performing is note perfect, and consistency and maturity of musicianship and communication is just an absolute wonder to behold, let alone witness the collective majesty of the live experience as a whole.
The prowess of new material in the first set including songs such as ‘Time Lapse’ and ‘Life’, are so mesmerising that it pretty much leaves all those in attendance jaw-dropped. Over the next couple of hours, it is a mixture of material from the new album ‘In A Time Lapse’, to some of the more familiar compositions from previous album such as ‘Divenire’ and ‘I Giorni’; achingly beautiful to listen to, let alone witness.
The first half of the second set, Ludovico has a chance to demonstrate his solo ability on the piano with some truly divine compositions that he plays with such feeling, depth, and character that every slightest hint of timbre is expressed in the exact way it should have been.
Even in the encore (to which the audience actually applauded for at LEAST a good five minutes, and actually made more noise and appreciation than at any rock concert) there was the inclusion of extra musicians. More of Einaudi’s crew were in the background with the lighting over them as if they were silhouettes, whilst they play extra percussion / tom & snare drums to the rhythm of the closing composition. This is ended with such an impact, that the audience once again showed their appreciation to a deafening applause that was sincerely overwhelming.
Tonight was such a special night. Not only was it a first for this reviewer, but also a first for the magazine to cover such a wonderful event. It is nights like these that you just can’t do justice put in to words. But what was witnessed tonight was one of the most powerful and breathtaking concerts this reviewer has EVER seen. Ludovico Einaudi and his ensemble prove tonight just why they are the best at what they do. Simply astounding.