Nightbook - Ludovico Einaudi
Ponderosa Music & Art
The piano’s voice rings the same whether toyed with by unskilled fingers or finessed by the touch of genius. It’s eighty-eight, graphic, black and white keys give it a vast range and visual reference that make it the ideal instrument for composition. And it’s that composition together with individual style that distinguishes all musicians who tickle the ivories. Following the stunning release Cloudland under the group name Whitetree, Milan pianist Ludovico Einaudi returns with a new album called Nightbook, a suite of soft, post-modern works in his singular style. Once again, Einaudi teams up with German electronica artist Robert Lippock, and his brother Ronald on drums and percussion who joined him to form the Whitetree trio. But, Nightbook goes even further, sparkling with instrumental embellishments of cello, viola, vibraphone and frame drum which, all the while, strangely assume a quieter, supportive role, leaving the spotlight to Einaudi’s virtuosity. The title track is a prime example, presented in two arrangements. On first encounter as track 3, Nightbook features the pianist moonlighting with the acoustic guitar on the side. In his signature, cyclical style, the composition rolls gently at first and continues to build a head of steam until it’s chugging like a freight train. Listeners who let the final track play out are treated to a hidden version of Nightbook that strips away any distraction to reveal the same piece performed with the simple beauty of Einaudi’s solo piano. Other sublime listening moments come during Lady Labyrinth, Indaco and Bye Bye Mon Amour. Einaudi creates ambient music for those who hate New Age, popular music for those who detest the status quo, jazz for those turned off by endless improvisation and classical music for those who are weary of the masters.