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Satie: Piano Music, Vol. 1 - Noriko Ogawa

Satie: Piano Music, Vol. 1 - Noriko Ogawa

BIS  BIS-2215

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Instrumental


Satie: Gnossienne No. 1; Gnossienne No. 2; Gnossienne No. 3; Gnossienne No. 4; Gnossienne No. 5; Gnossienne No. 6; Gnossienne No. 7; Chapitres tournés en tous sens; Avant Dernières Pensées (Idylle, Aubade, Méditation); Croquis et Agaceries d'un Gros Bonhomme en bois; Sonatine Bureaucratique; Poudre d'or; Embryons desséchés; Descriptions automatiques; Heures séculaires et instantanées; Prélude en tapisserie; Les trois valses distinguées du précieux dégouté; Je te veux; Trois Gymnopédies

Noriko Ogawa (piano: Érard 1890)


150 years after his birth, Erik Satie is still one of the great enigmas of classical music – a composer who said of himself ‘I am not fond of jokes… I never make jokes’ but is nevertheless regarded as one of the great tricksters of Western music; who at one stage was involved with esoteric societies such as the Rosicrucian Order and founded a church of his own (the ‘Metropolitan Art Church of Jesus the Conductor’), and inventing the genre ‘furniture music’ that, for Satie, was ‘fundamentally industrial’, similar to ‘light, heat and all the forms of comfort’.

In this anniversary year, Noriko Ogawa launches a complete set of Satie’s music for solo piano – a body of works which includes the sets of Gnossiennes and Gymnopédies, which through their use in countless movie sound tracks have reached and affected audiences across the planet, pieces that Satie wrote for his own use when working as a bar pianist (Je te veux, Le Piccadilly), parodies on other composers (Sonatine bureaucratique is a spoof on a sonata by Clementi) as well as experiments such as Vexations, a brief theme with chordal accompaniment which according to an instruction in the score is to be played 840 times!

Noriko Ogawa, whose wide-ranging and acclaimed discography includes music by Mozart and Rachmaninov as well as complete recordings of the piano music by her compatriot Toru Takemitsu and by Debussy (a friend and rival of Satie’s) performs all of this on an instrument from Satie’s own time – an exquisite Erard grand piano built in 1890, the very year that Satie composed his Gnossienne No. 1 which opens this disc and new cycle.

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Comment by Dave Dubbya - April 7, 2017 (1 of 4)

These interpretations of Satie are pleasant, nothing untoward and and very listenable. Noriko Ogawa does a good job, The recording is crisp with the rear channels used for reverb. I still prefer the Klara Kormendi versions on Naxos but this SACD has a much better sound.

Comment by SACD-MAN (threerandot) - June 16, 2017 (2 of 4)

More Satie is always welcome. I would really love to see a recording of the complete Satie Music for 2 Pianos or "Piano Four Hands" as it is sometimes called.

Comment by William Hecht - June 17, 2017 (3 of 4)

Volume 2 in this series is out now in the US, and is scheduled for June 30 release in UK. Perhaps BIS will record Ogawa and her regular duo partner Kathryn Stott in the "four hands" pieces in a later volume.

Comment by SACD-MAN (threerandot) - June 17, 2017 (4 of 4)

Let's hope so!