It is said that in 1992 when the BBC Radio 3 broadcasted Stanze in the harp version, the phones of the radio station were buzzing with callers asking for the name of the composer. Since then the fame of Stanze and of Ludovico Einaudi has continued to grow.
This is not surprising if we consider the appeal and communicative spirit of these pieces. Even today they represent a model for the post-classic genre, still loved and imitated, which Einaudi - uncontested maestro - was able to imprint with an all Italian original and refined tenor.
After 25 years from the first recording, I present Stanze, here for the first time, in the original piano version composed by Einaudi himself. The score, published by Ricordi in 1992, is made up of 14 numbers: two less than the 16 of the harp recording. Calmo and Attesa are in fact missing. All the other ones are almost the same, just a few changes due to the dissimilar techniques of the two instruments. Only one, Moto perpetuo, in the piano version is so completely different and much longer (12 pages versus 4 of the harp), as to be considered a new one.
Stanze was the ancient name of the strofe in the Canzone, the first Italian poetic form. Stanza means room. Dante Alighieri defined the poetic meaning of stanza as “dimora capace e ricettacolo di tutta l’arte” [a capacious storehouse or receptacle for the art in its entirety], suggesting the place, real or unreal, where the artist isolates himself to think, to collect strength and find the words (or notes) to create.
Actually we all have a stanza where we easily find our inner self. It can be a place in our home where, alas at the end of the day, we retire to listen to some music or read a book; it could be our car cabin, or a train compartment, where, while the landscape flies past, we think back on the past, dream of our future: it can even be just a space in our head, a place not in a place, where we stand alone in front of ourselves.
Even though, as the composer affirms, there is not a general idea that unifes the pieces of this album, they are all conceived in the same stanza, in that unique place which offers to the artist the peace of loneliness and meditation.
Einaudi’s quote “A tutti quelli che continuano a tenere il fuoco acceso” [to all those who continue to keep the fire burning] as the dedication of the work, suggests the idea of something that must not be lost: as delicate as it is important.
If I should sum up in one word the whole essence of Stanze I would say fragility. Pieces as Calore, Onda, Cadenza or Ritorno, frail blades of grass, newly blossomed flowers, are composed by a handful of notes. But these are for me the most fascinating and immediate. Topical is in fact the concept of vulnerability, in a world marked by an ever more compromised ecological, socio-political and human balance.
These pieces lead us to open up and live the stanze of our personal fragilities, to feel and therefore understand the vulnerability of the world in which we live.
I love writing piano songs to share with you inspiring stories and to talk to you through them: music is a two-way street
between the listener and the artist. Here you can find all about the path I have been taking and something about where I am heading...more