LUDOVICO EINAUDI: SEVEN DAYS WALKING | London, Barbican

The titan of easy-listening minimalism’s latest project – Seven Days Walking – is pretty: pretty well-staged, pretty relaxing, and pretty predictable.

Fans of Einaudi (every performance at the Barbican has been long sold out) are not seeking out the volatile drama of Rachmaninoff, or the balletic playfulness of Debussy; and for audiences who are, this show will come across as somewhat lacklustre. Instead, building on the popular format of his previous Elements (2015), Einaudi’s new work echoes the repetitive trills and obvious chord sequences that have raised his profile the world over.

Einaudi is accompanied on stage by cellist Redi Hasa and violinist Federico Mecozzi. The stertorous tone of the former brings depth to the earlier pieces, but this is drowned out at times by shrill harmonics and scratchy notes from the latter – played to provide an other-wordly sound, but sadly overused throughout the 120 minutes.

The mood lifts towards the end, with emotional motifs that touch upon melodrama; however, it seems like many of the audience are waiting for something to happen. Some of the melodies also feel second-hand, with one episode closely mirroring the refrain and chord progression of Coldplay’s “Clocks”.

Ultimately, the audience voted with their feet – Einaudi’s minor “Do Re Mi”s drove some ticket holders straight back to the lobby, whilst others gave a vocal standing ovation that proved the pianist and composer’s fan-base is as loyal as ever.

Ludovico Einaudi: Seven Days Walking, at the Barbican until 6 August 2019, is sold out.

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