Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 28 January 2020

Ludovico Einaudi on why Dubai Opera is the perfect setting for 'Seven Days Walking'

The classical music star will perform in Dubai next year

Ludovico Einaudi’s latest album became the fastest streamed classical album of all time.. Stefan Hoederath / Getty Images
Ludovico Einaudi’s latest album became the fastest streamed classical album of all time.. Stefan Hoederath / Getty Images

Expect an intimate performance when Ludovico Einaudi returns to the UAE next year.

The Milanese pianist will bring his world tour to Dubai Opera on Monday, February 3, 2020.

Fans shouldn’t waste time in purchasing their tickets as the show will likely sell out as they did the last time he was in the Emirates.

Einaudi received a rapturous welcome when he made his Middle East debut in 2017 at the same venue with two back-to-back capacity shows.

In an exclusive interview with The National before his sell-out show in Frankfurt’s Alte Oper on Wednesday, October 16, Einaudi expressed how he was pleasantly surprised by his Dubai reception.

“No matter how much time you are doing this you never have expectations. This is especially the case when you perform in a new place like the UAE,” he says.

“The crowd was wonderful, warm and attentive. I had a great time and seeing all this mix of cultures in one place was really interesting for me.”

Einaudi’s return is also down to the design of Dubai Opera.

With his latest project, the mammoth seven-volume series Seven Days Walking, consisting of some of his most minimal recordings to date, he decided to forgo playing arenas and large halls for more cosy settings.

“The music in this show is more precise, it has atmosphere and it needs a venue that has really good acoustics so the listener can experience everything,” he says.

“This is why we have been careful about what places to play. The venue in Dubai was very good and it has what we are looking for – a good sound and playing to no more than 2,000 each evening.”

The Seven Days Walking project cemented Einaudi’s standing as the classical music world’s premier star. The first volume, released on March 1, became the fastest streamed classical album of all-time. According to his record label Decca, the album gained over two million streams on its first day of release.

Judging by what The National saw in Frankfurt, fans will relish its presentation live.

There is no doubt his present tour is stripped down. Where his previous Dubai performance was suitably lush with a five-piece backing group and evocative visuals, this time Einaudi is only accompanied by a cellist, violinist, and stark black ground.

This complements the approach Einaudi takes with his new material.

Released monthly from March to September, Einaudi's seven-album project consists of songs inspired by his winter walks in the Alps. Each volume is a variation of that walk. The pieces may sound initially the same, Einaudi says, but the emphasis is different.

“Sometimes you take the same route and you notice a different thing on each walk,” he offers. “The project is something like that.”

Einaudi explains it best in this exclusive message he gives to The National’s readers about his new project:

However, while each volume has its own identity, Einaudi allows all the 50-plus pieces of the project to merge in concert to create its own world.

The music is sparse, desolate, intensely lonely and in some instances revitalising. The fact that many members of the audiences took it all in with their eyes closed is not so much down to the lack of interaction on stage, but the reverential air Einaudi conjures throughout his two-hour performance.

He may have not uttered a word throughout the show but he didn’t need to, we're with him all the way.

You can check out our full interview with Ludovico Einaudi soon in Luxury Magazine. Einaudi performs at Dubai Opera on Monday, February 3. Downtown, Dubai. Tickets from Dh200 from www.dubaiopera.com

Updated: October 17, 2019 12:36 PM