Passaggio, Lavinia Meijer's first release on Sony, is an album of the crossover music of Ludovico Einaudi, an Italian composer and pianist who encouraged the Dutch harpist to record some of his most popular pieces. The playing on this 2013 album is highly polished and appealing, and Meijer demonstrates considerable powers of concentration and precision in performances of her harp transcriptions of Einaudi's keyboard music. Some will find Meijer's renditions emotionally communicative and mood enhancing, and most of the credit for their effectiveness belongs to her, because Einaudi's modal harmonies and conventional patterns tend toward a bland prettiness, or pretty blandness, that's all of a piece. Simple melodies and repeated arpeggiated chords have the instant attraction of minimalist music, and simplicity is often a virtue in the proper context. Sony's recording is clear and close-up, and Meijer has presence in a fairly resonant studio space.
Intouchables is the official soundtrack to the Oliver Nakache/Eric Toledano-directed comedy-drama based on the true-story relationship between rich quadraplegic Philippe (François Cluzet) and his ex-prisoner hired help Driss (Omar Sy). Its 15 tracks contain snippets of dialogue from the film alongside several instrumentals from Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi ("Fly," "Writing Poems," "Una Mattina"), Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Violins/String Orchestra Op. 3, No. 8, and classic songs from George Benson ("The Ghetto"), Nina Simone ("Feeling Good"), and Terry Callier ("You're Goin' Miss Your Candyman") that are featured prominently in the Tokyo International Film Festival award winner.
Outstanding execution by Jeroen Van Veen with superb sound quality. Einaudi's work is difficult to categorize as he pulls classical, pop, new age and cinematic ideas into thoughtfully crafted modern pieces. Highly appealing because it's simply all very good.
Following on the worldwide success of In a Time Lapse, Ludovico Einaudi presents his new work, Elements. The work's sound is lush and deep and interwoven with a freshness that naturally blends Einaudi's piano with acoustic and electronic sounds. In addition to his usual collaborators, the album also features the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Berlin-based electronic musician Robert Lippok, Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco and South African violinist Daniel Hope. The composer said of the album, "Elements sprang from a desire to start anew, following a different path of knowledge. I saw new frontiers - on the edge between what I knew and what I didn't know - that I had long wanted to explore… gradually, everything came together in a dance, as if all the elements were parts of the same world, and myself within it".
The music of Italian pianist/composer Ludovico Einaudi, poised between Glass' minimalism and the shifting shades of the ambient movement, has gained more traction in Europe than in the Western hemisphere. That could change with this release by Canadian violinist Angele Dubeau and her chamber orchestra (with piano), La Pieta. Dubeau and Francois Vallieres have arranged a variety of Einaudi's pieces, most of them at his typical length of four or five minutes, for the violin-and-orchestra combination. Thoughts on it will depend largely on what some think of Einaudi's music to begin with. For those who are new to it, start with one of Einaudi's own recordings. The music of the general minimalist orbit usually stands up well to being arranged – think of the multiple versions of Arvo Part's major works, where such adaptability is almost a hallmark of the style – but Einaudi is so oriented toward the spaces inside the notes of a solo piano that you might think this version dilutes it a bit. On the other hand, Einaudi has composed music for many instruments other than the piano.