“Divenire” by Ludovico Einaudi

Divenire by Ludovico Einaudi

Divenire means “to become”. And that’s exactly the story that this piece tells.

This orchestral/piano work is the title track of Ludovico Einaudi‘s album Divenire, which he released in 2006:

Einaudi’s Inspiration

Einaudi says of Divenire on his website:

“Divenire developed over a long period, beginning in 2002 when I was invited by the organisers of the festival “I Suoni delle Dolomiti” (The Sounds of the Dolomites) to write a composition which I would be performing on a plateau 2000 metres up in the Dolomites against the backdrop of the Pale di San Martino. For that occasion I wrote a suite for piano, two harps and string orchestra, taking my inspiration from three paintings by the nineteenth­ century Swiss artist Giovanni Segantini, La vita, La natura and La morte (Life, Nature and Death). Performing with the orchestra in those spectacular surroundings was an extremely intense experience. I felt as if I were in a stream tumbling down a mountain­side, not only immersed in it, but an actual part of that unstoppable rush of water, and had that intoxicating sensation one feels when involved in a physical activity in contact with powerful natural forces, speed, water, space and wind. Since that experience I have done many other things, but have always thought that sooner or later I would develop the idea and expand it.”

Here are the three paintings by Giovanni Segantini that inspired Einaudi:

Musical Analysis

Divenire opens with a simple piano melody based on the notes A, C, B, and G over the chords Am, FM, GM, and Em (with some exciting non-chord notes thrown in). A murmuring orchestral ostinato (a continuous and repeating musical idea) underneath sets the tone for the piece as layers of melody and sound add to the energy.

*Music theory: this theme is transposed up a third, which results in a melody of C, E, D, and B over the same chords.

Then at 1:37 the second idea is presented: a chord progression of Am, CM, GM, and DM, which is expanded throughout the rest of the piece. Occasionally the first chord progression (Am, FM, GM, and Em) is brought back to add variety and familiarity.

The second theme is brought back again after a contrasting piano interlude (which also uses the chords Am, FM, GM, Em, and CM).

*Music theory: I find it really interesting that the piece is set up in A minor with a lowered 7th. This results in an E minor chord instead of an E Major chord, which gives the piece a lack of key stability. Then in the second theme we have a D Major chord, which has an F sharp. In the key of A minor this would be a raised 6th, which hints that this section is in A Dorian (this is some really deep music theory that we won’t discuss further today; read here for more information).

In Divenire, Einaudi uses minimalism (a repeated cellular idea) to create the driving energy behind the piece. The simple chord progressions expand into repeated patterns of 16th notes that build and grow until the dramatic ending, where the listener is left with quiet reflection.

Divenire Piano Cover

And finally, please enjoy my own piano cover of this beautiful work:

Divenire: to become. In the piece, we become one with the colors and the experience. We are taken on a journey through nature, a journey through life. We become greater than we were before we invited the sounds into our lives.

Divenire means 

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I'm a pianist, composer, writer, photographer, and overall classical-music-lover who is always open to new sounds.

7 thoughts on ““Divenire” by Ludovico Einaudi

  1. What a lovely sound! I grew up listening to classical music and jazz because of my father. He would have loved this beautiful piece. I love Ludovico. I need to sit down for a few hours and read your whole site. 🙂 what a find! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is very well done. You are clearly passionate about music and it is evident! Some choose to solely play music (which is incredible in itself). However, I find that, supported by your blog, those who hold a different interest for music can experience on a similar level you might. You explain using clear language and helps others (like me) understand why and how a piece can be so beautiful – that there is so much BEHIND a piece of music. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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