After the Rain...The Soft Sounds of Erik Satie
Erik Satie, the early 20th-century French composer, was an odd bird indeed: A mad collector of umbrellas, he was famous for his obscene jokes and for his spare, curious musical works, which were surprisingly influential. Satie's lunar music hardly needs to be played with any extra strangeness, and happily, the French pianist Pascal Rogé offers a clear and straightforward rendition of some of the composer's greatest hits. Rogé gives us the melancholy and lyrical "Gymnopedies," the set of six "Gnossiennes," and a surprise music-hall hit Satie wrote called "Je te veux" (played here in its version for piano). This is a warm and endearing collection, and it's hard to get "Frencher" than this. As someone once said: "The French they are not like you and me." And Satie proved it once and for all.