Satie: The Velvet Gentleman

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Erik Satie is a composer whose star is on the rise. In 1980, when these recordings by pianist John McCabe were first released, he was, apart from the inscrutable "Gymnop?die No. 1" and a few other works, mostly a footnote to the Debussy chapter in the history books. Since then it has gradually emerged that "The Velvet Gentleman" the name came from Satie's predilection for wearing identical gray velvet suits, with his layer of snark concealing a profound sadness and a willingness to shock the bourgeoisie, has a great deal to say to the modern listener. This disc, combining two McCabe LPs, offers a generous selection of Satie's piano music, from the familiar "Gymnop?dies" ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Erik Satie is a composer whose star is on the rise. In 1980, when these recordings by pianist John McCabe were first released, he was, apart from the inscrutable "Gymnopédie No. 1" and a few other works, mostly a footnote to the Debussy chapter in the history books. Since then it has gradually emerged that "The Velvet Gentleman" the name came from Satie's predilection for wearing identical gray velvet suits, with his layer of snark concealing a profound sadness and a willingness to shock the bourgeoisie, has a great deal to say to the modern listener. This disc, combining two McCabe LPs, offers a generous selection of Satie's piano music, from the familiar "Gymnopédies" and "Sports et Divertissements" to less-standard items like the "Pièces froides" Cold Pieces of 1897. Generally the listener of a quarter century later will find that McCabe did quite well, especially considering that he did not have a surfeit of models to follow at the time. He gets the slightly distant melancholy of Satie, and he brings out the radical qualities of Satie's music, his drastic simplifications, pointing well into the future, of Debussy's harmonic ideas. If he does not quite catch Satie's expert humor -- the "Sonatine bureaucratique" can make the listener smile like a Charlie Chaplin routine -- he seems to have a Montmartre indefinable feel for Satie's mood as he skulked in the shadows of Paris nightlife and devised crazy schemes like a new church of which he was the only member. The sound of this reissue is inferior, with enough hiss to dull the articulation of the piano; the problem may well have resided in the original LPs one seems worse than the other, but that doesn't matter to the CD buyer. And the booklet is marred by errors; the name of painter Suzanne Valadon is misspelled, as is the fairly familiar name of the neighborhood. Still, those for whom the sound is not so important -- commuters, for example -- can get an unusually good introduction to Satie here.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/29/2013
  • Label: Regis
  • EAN: 5055031312276
  • Catalog Number: 1227
  • Sales rank: 176,731

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–3 Gymnopédies (3), for piano (also orchestrated by Debussy) - Erik Satie & John McCabe (6:26)
  2. 2 Ragtime, arrangement for piano (by Hans Ourdine, after "Parade") - Erik Satie & John McCabe (2:36)
  3. 3 Gnossienne, for piano No.1 - Erik Satie & John McCabe (2:47)
  4. 4 Gnossienne, for piano No.4 - Erik Satie & John McCabe (2:11)
  5. 5 Gnossienne, for piano No.5 - Erik Satie & John McCabe (2:47)
  6. 6 Sonatine bureaucratique, for piano - Erik Satie & John McCabe (3:27)
  7. 7 Passacaille, for piano - Erik Satie & John McCabe (2:10)
  8. 8 Nocturnes (5) for piano: Nocturne No. 1 - Erik Satie & John McCabe (3:09)
  9. 9 Je te veux (I Want You), café-concert song for voice & piano - Erik Satie & John McCabe (4:47)
  10. 10 Gnossienne, for piano No.2 - Erik Satie & John McCabe (1:51)
  11. 11 Gnossienne, for piano No.3 - Erik Satie & John McCabe (2:07)
  12. 12 Le Piège de Méduse, dances for piano - Erik Satie & John McCabe (3:16)
  13. 13 Rêverie du pauvre, for piano - Erik Satie & John McCabe (3:43)
  14. 14 Valse-ballet, for piano - Erik Satie & John McCabe (2:01)
  15. 15 Pièces froides (Cold Pieces), pieces (6) for piano: (Airs à faire fuir 1-3) - Erik Satie & John McCabe (6:46)
  16. 16 Chapitres tournés en tous sens (Chapters turned every which way), for piano - Erik Satie & John McCabe (4:09)
  17. 17 Nocturnes (5) for piano: Nocturne No. 3 - Erik Satie & John McCabe (2:43)
  18. 18 Nocturnes (5) for piano: Nocturne No. 5 - Erik Satie & John McCabe (2:02)
  19. 19 Avant-dernières pensées (Next-to-last thoughts), pieces (3) for piano - Erik Satie & John McCabe (2:51)
  20. 20 Sports et divertissements (Sports and diversions), pieces (21) for piano - Erik Satie & John McCabe (11:48)
  21. 21 Grimaces (5) for "A Midsummer Night's Dream," incidental music - Erik Satie & John McCabe (3:14)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John McCabe Primary Artist
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