Satie: The Complete Solo Piano Music

Satie: The Complete Solo Piano Music

by Jean-Yves Thibaudet
     
 
Fulfilling the promise of an earlier "teaser" album entitled The Magic of Satie, Jean-Yves Thibaudet presents this five-disc survey of the eccentric Frenchman's complete works for solo piano. Like Thibaudet's complete sets of the solo music of Ravel and Debussy, Satie is a tour de force, filled with lucid pianism that

Overview

Fulfilling the promise of an earlier "teaser" album entitled The Magic of Satie, Jean-Yves Thibaudet presents this five-disc survey of the eccentric Frenchman's complete works for solo piano. Like Thibaudet's complete sets of the solo music of Ravel and Debussy, Satie is a tour de force, filled with lucid pianism that is as graceful as it is dignified. While few would argue that Satie's music approaches the heights of his contemporaries, he was certainly a free spirit -- often wonderfully, even bizarrely so -- whose singular voice continues to captivate eight decades after his death. And though other complete Satie sets have appeared over the years (notably Aldo Ciccolini's), it's indeed a pleasure to have a modern one from a pianist of Thibaudet's stature. His collection is organized partly chronologically, partly thematically (the five discs are cleverly imprinted in order with the letters of the composer's name), beginning with the earliest works from the 1880s and '90s, which, oddly enough, also remain the most popular. Thibaudet's readings of the "Gymnopédies" and "Gnossiennes" are plainspoken yet graceful and poised -- terms that well suit this collection as a whole. (Thibaudet includes the newly published seventh "Gnossienne" -- as well as several other recent additions to the Satie catalogue.) The second disc brings further youthful works, including the curious theme and variations called "Vexations," which is to be performed 840 times in succession -- a task that could take up to a full day. Prudently, Thibaudet offers merely three repetitions. The third disc moves on to music composed during Satie's student years at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, as well as works from the 1910s and '20s, including the six Nocturnes and "Cinéma" from 1924, a piano reduction of the composer's very last work, written for a cinematic ballet interlude. The fourth disc takes in Satie's "fantasies" -- whimsical, nonconformist works that include, par exemple, a set of preludes dedicated to a dog. The fifth disc wraps up the set with assorted sundries written throughout Satie's life, ending with the fun and fanciful "Rag-Time Parade" from 1917. The sound is detailed yet not too close up, though it varies somewhat in quality, and Thibaudet's clear-cut, elegant playing allows Satie's curiously compelling music to speak for itself. An essential Satie set.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Patsy Morita
Jean-Yves Thibaudet has undertaken the complete solo piano works of another late nineteenth/early twentieth century French composer: Erik Satie. This even includes a sample of "Vexations," that theme and two variations that Satie instructs to be played slowly, 840 times. It's interesting to compare Thibaudet's interpretations of these works with those of Aldo Ciccolini, who was one of Thibaudet's teachers. Overall, Thibaudet gives a less-Romantic interpretation, with less overt emotion and more introverted abstraction, but it is not overly academic. The music hall pieces, such as "Je te veux" and "Le Piccadilly" have a good dancing tempo that doesn't give often to rubato. In places, repeated figures and phrases do not vary much in speed or volume, which is how most musicians are instructed to add interest to repeated motives. On the other hand, the "Enfantines" pieces, written for children to play, are performed with a great deal of subtle sensitivity. Indeed, Satie's particular (and sometimes peculiar) performance notes are made for interpretations as individual as each performer and are what make his music difficult to perform. Thibaudet certainly skillfully conveys his interpretations to the listener, with minimal additional explanation needed in the liner notes. Most often, what you hear is what the title of the work implies. One note on the sound quality: at the end of the second disc in the music hall pieces, the sound quality between the tracks is noticeably different, as if they were made on different pianos or in different studios.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/10/2003
Label:
Decca
UPC:
0028947362029
catalogNumber:
000023002
Rank:
150737

Tracks

  1. Sarabandes (3) for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  2. Gymnopédies (3), for piano (also orchestrated by Debussy)  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  3. Gnossiennes (6), for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  4. Gnossienne, for piano No.7  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  5. Petite ouverture à danser, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  6. Pièces froides (Cold Pieces), pieces (6) for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  7. The Dreamy Fish (Le poisson rêveur), incidental music for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  8. The Angora Ox, for piano (reconstructed by Johny Fritz)  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  9. Allegro, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  10. Valse-ballet, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  11. Fantaisie-valse, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  12. Fête donnée par des chevaliers normands en l'honneur d'une jeune demoiselle, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  13. Ogives (4), for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  14. Première pensée Rose + Croix, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  15. Leitmotiv du Panthée, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  16. Sonneries de la Rose + Croix, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  17. Danses gothiques (9), for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  18. Pages mystiques (3), for piano: Vexations  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  19. Modéré, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  20. Verset laïque et somptueux, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  21. Je te veux (I Want You), café-concert song for voice & piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  22. Tendrement, valse chantée for voice & piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  23. Poudre d'or (Gold Dust), for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  24. La diva de l'Empire, song for voice & piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  25. Le Piccadilly, march for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  26. La belle excentrique, "serious fantasy" for orchestra (or piano, 4 hands): Légende californienne  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  27. La belle excentrique, "serious fantasy" for orchestra (or piano, 4 hands): 1. Marche franco-lunaire  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  28. La belle excentrique, "serious fantasy" for orchestra (or piano, 4 hands): 2. Valse du "Mystérieux baiser dans l'œil"  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  29. Passacaille, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  30. Prélude en tapisserie, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  31. Fugue-valse, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  32. Nouvelles pièces froides (New Cold Pieces), for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  33. Fâcheux example, counterpoint excercise for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  34. Désespoir agréable, counterpoint excercise for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  35. Deux choses: 1. Effornterie, 2. Poésie, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  36. Profondeur, minuet excercise for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  37. Songe-creux, minuet excercise for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  38. Le prisonnier maussade, minuet excercise for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  39. Le grand singe, minuet excercise for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  40. Petits chorals (12), for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  41. Prélude canin, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  42. Work(s): Arrière-propos  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  43. L'enfance de Ko-Quo, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  44. Nouvelles pièces enfantines, pieces (3) for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  45. Menus propos enfantins (Childish Chatter), for piano (from "Enfantines")  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  46. Enfantillages pittoresques (Picturesque Childishness), for piano (from "Enfantines")  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  47. Peccadilles importunes (Tiresome Peccadilloes), for piano (from "Enfantines")  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  48. Nocturnes (5) for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  49. Nocturne for piano No. 6  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  50. Premier menuet, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  51. Rêverie de l'enfance de Pantagruel, for piano (arr. of 1st "Petites pièce montées")  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  52. Cinéma: Entr'acte symphonique de Relâche, for orchestra (also piano; also arr. by Milhaud for piano, 4 hands)  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  53. Préludes flasques; pour un chien (Flabby preludes; for a dog), for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  54. Véritables préludes flasques pour un chien (Truely Flabby Preludes for a Dog), for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  55. Descriptions automatiques, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  56. Embryons desséchés (3 dried-up embryos), for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  57. Croquis et agaceries d'un gros bonhomme en bois (3 sketches and exasperations of a big wooden fellow), for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  58. Chapitres tournés en tous sens (Chapters turned every which way), for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  59. Vieux séquins et vieilles cuirasses (Old sequins and armor), for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  60. Sports et divertissements (Sports and diversions), pieces (21) for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  61. Heures séculaires et instantanées (Age-old and instantaneous hours), pieces (3) for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  62. Les valses (3) distinguées du précieux dégoûté (3 distinguished waltzes of a disgusted dandy), for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  63. Avant-dernières pensées (Next-to-last thoughts), pieces (3) for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  64. Sonatine bureaucratique, for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  65. Le fils des étoiles, Chaldean pastoral, 3 preludes for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  66. Le Nazaréen, incidental music (2 preludes) for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  67. Eginhard, prelude for piano from incidental music  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  68. Uspud, Christian ballet in 3 scenes for piano (orchestrated by Canby)  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  69. Prélude de La Porte héroïque du ciel (Prelude to "The Heroic Gate of Heaven"), incidental music for piano (or orchestra)  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  70. Jack-in-the-Box, pantomime ballet for piano (orchestrated by Milhaud)  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  71. La mort de Monsieur Mouche, prelude for piano from incidental music  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  72. Pousse l'Amour, operetta: Chanson andalouse  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  73. Le Piège de Méduse, dances for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  74. Les pantins dansent (The puppets dance), for piano  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  75. Grimaces (5) for "A Midsummer Night's Dream," incidental music  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington
  76. Parade, ballet in 1 scene for orchestra  - Erik Satie  - Andrew Cornall  - Mark Millington

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