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Ludovico Einaudi: Portrait is a stunning album of contemporary orchestral music. While you’re probably well aware of Ludovico Einaudi’s work, it’s relatively new to me. What I find so intriguing about his music making is that he seems to embed narrative movement in music; his pieces either tell stories or evoke emotions as part of stories. At first blush, you may be tempted to pass off his music as background or new-age music. There’s a grain of truth in that you could read a book with this intensely involving music playing in the background, but really it’s background in the same sense that rain, wind, or sunshine are  background to a camping trip. They are an integral part of your experience and deeply change what that experience is like. His music’s visceral sonic impact is more immediate than “Spring” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is for most diners in a café. These are moving, musical stories that help us build images and experience in our minds in a new way. A perfect example of this is the track “Experience.” It’s been used in a number of different videos where, typically without words, some life experiences are shown. The emotion is wrapped up in the music and images which combine to communicate powerfully. I’ve previously heard Mr. Einaudi’s “Divenire” but this recent album (released March 31, 2015) beautifully transitions the music to a fuller texture and richer sound.

Ludovico Einaudi: Portrait is part of a larger series in which Angèle Dubeau and her string orchestra, La Pietà, arrange the work of contemporary composers (Philip Glass in 2008, Arvo Pärt in 2010 and John Adams in 2011), for violin and string orchestra to change, in Ms. Dubeau’s words: “its texture, rethinking its character while bringing a new sonic dimension.” I’m delighted to be stretched a bit with contemporary orchestral music, as I’ve previously noted.

Another benefit is that not only is the music superbly played, its production is first rate. In the case of Mr. Einaudi’s music, she brings out the meaning behind his music. It’s also great to hear what was originally focused on piano now given a larger setting.

Go here for full review.

A couple examples of experiencing his music are:

To learn more about Angèle Dubeau and La Pietà: http://www.angeledubeau.com/