Review: A Multi-Sensory Exploration of the Elements: Ludovico Einaudi at Colston Hall


9th March 2016


Image: Stef Formica

How does one review the brilliant Ludovico Einaudi? One doesn’t. This is no review, if anything it’s a love letter to one of today’s most important composers. After all, what isn’t there to like about the Italian Larry David look-alike who creates such incredible compositions that his work is appreciated and loved by all ages across the globe?

What? You haven’t heard of him? Well, actually you have. Within the UK, Einaudi is probably best known for his heart-breakingly beautiful contributions to the British TV series’ This Is England ’86, This is England ’88 and the 2006 film This is England soundtracks, but his music has been heard on a number of trailers and film scores, including Black Swan (2010), I’m Still Here (2010), Insidious (2010) and in the British TV series Derek (2012) directed by and starring Ricky Gervais.

Currently on tour with his latest album, Elements (2015), Einaudi, accompanied by five superb, highly-skilled musicians (Federico Mecozzi, Redi Hasa, Alberto Fabris, Francesco Arcuri and Riccardo Lagana) have been playing to sold out audiences in Bristol this week. Elements features tracks which combine piano, strings, percussion guitar and electronica and is visually brought to life for audiences through the use of stunning multimedia and lighting techniques. There’s no hyperbole here when I say it was breathtaking – I literally had to remind myself to breathe at times, as I was so absorbed into the atmospheric experience where the elements were brought to life all around us.

[gallery_bank type=”images” format=”thumbnail” title=”false” desc=”false” responsive=”true” special_effect=”none” animation_effect=”fadeIn” album_title=”false” album_id=”98″]

Einaudi’s masterful playing was simultaneously demanding and serene. Just as powerful in its intimate moments of just he and his piano as it was when accompanied. Part of his charm and persona is his body language; the fluid, delicate movements of arms and hands and the look of pure pleasure in his smile. He is a composer who enjoys the performance of his art. He has done well to surround himself with a team of musicians who clearly share in this pleasure, as it was a joy to watch the chemistry between Einaudi and his orchestra.

The performance was an unforgettable, multi-sensory experience. Through the clever use of instruments and lighting we heard, saw and felt nature’s elements explored. Instruments such as the waterphone, vibraphone and cello were skillfully used to manipulate sound and create the exhilarating atmosphere we found ourselves pulled into. Einaudi has said, “it is in the live arena in communion with the audience that my work really comes alive.” And indeed it is. The two-hour performance came to a close only after multiple standing ovations and three spectacular encores.

In a world that can so often be ugly, Einaudi’s music is a reminder of the beauty and hope that still exists.

The whole of Einaudi’s March tour is now sold out, but don’t despair! Tickets are on sale now for four dates beginning 28 July 2016 at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Get your tickets now at

Esther Hall/Stefania Formica