Author Topic: The Satie Companion  (Read 866 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Guest
The Satie Companion
« on: April 02, 2018, 05:39:12 AM »
We might as well move the conversation.


  • Guest
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2018, 08:02:07 AM »
Satie, if anyone, seems to be a Performer driven Composer, meaning, with Satie, it's all in the interpretation,... and sound, of course. So, it seems, really, that Satie should be played a certain way, and, as we know, many Performers "do their own thing", which, frankly, most often than not yields less than stellar results.

Sound, too, is extremely important in Satie. So, here are some initial notes on what's going on with the Satie Discography:

1) Clidat, Barbieri: these two, early, recordings I haven't really dug into because of sound

2) Ciccolini 1967-1971: again, sound is important

3) Ciccolini 1983-86: though the sound may have an issue here or there, I find AC unerring is every respect. HOWEVER, my goal is in replacing AC, and so far I have found acceptable substitutes for many Works. AC's 'Fantasist Works' volume of the complete humorous pieces of 1912-1915 is still pretty unbeaten in my book.

4) Quffelec: she's no slouch, but, I'm having issues with the typical Virgin sound for the time, quite monochrome-steely digital dryness that seems to add an amount of fierceness of aggressiveness that is just not right in Satie. Many say her 2CD set is the best one out there of the Top Contenders; some have a problem with the Virgin sound.

5) Roge: his Gymnopede No.1 opens at breakneck pace and then immediately slows down when the melody starts!! Whaaat?? Though I enjoy him erring on the quicker side of things, sometimes he's just not fierce enough ('Severe reprimand'- see Queffelec). The Decca sound has him bathed in atmosphere, a little distant, which I'm ambivalent about, good as it is. His 3rd installment comes over ten years after the first and has a little different character. Roge concentrates on the Middle Period, which yield a grand sampling of material. Out of three discs, are any of them absolutely essential?? What say ye?

6) Thibaudet: compared with Roge, JYT's Decca sound is close, clear, and sumptuous. Most of the time JYT rises to the occasion, but many times I feel he totally misses the mark. It's maddening, because he has quite a few nuggets, but, I'd stay away from him in the quirky bits. He excels in the dancehall bits. 'The Magic of Satie' contains a lot of unique material and might be the way to go here.


Gorisek: controversial audiophile recordings of incredible clarity. Gorisek is an excellent, straightforward guide. I'm somewhat blown away. The packaging, however, is another matter: do NOT expect a GoldDisc as promised!! And the tracking can be madness... and, you probably won't get a booklet either. However, they ARE cheap!! I suggest finding at least one volume to check.

Hojer (Swedish Society): samples have yielded dry and unattractive sound, with variable interpretation.

Kormendi (Naxos): French she is NOT!! Way to four square for me.

Aki Takahashi: somewhat thin sound; nice Japanese interpretation (very etched).

Yuji Takahashi: cartoonish???

Schleiermacher (MDG): based on Vol.5 (Nocturnes, Nouvelles Pieces Froides), SS is playing Cage, and not Satie. I hated this from the first note,... I was shocked!! yukk

Pontinen: 1 1/2 discs, sounding very good with "I get it" interpretations.... Dark Horse.

A lot of the Complete Cycles have unsatisfactory single disc programming- Gorisek's survey could be programmed just a little differently for better separation of styles (no one wants the first three 'Valse' bits on their 'Soft Sounds' recital!!!). Programming NICE Satie and NAUGHTY Satie is not a task everyone is suited for, it seems!

There are less MajorLabel releases than I had hoped for. There is a curious Riri Shimada disc on SONY, of the 'Mystical Works', which Hurwitz didn't like.

That's all I got...