Magazine article Gramophone

Satie: 'Satie Slowly'

Magazine article Gramophone

Satie: 'Satie Slowly'

Article excerpt

Satie

'Satie Slowly' Ogives. Gnossienne No 1. The Feast Given by the Norman Knights to Honour a Young Girl. Preludes of the Nazarene. The Gothic Dances. Trois Gymnopedies. Fanfares of the Rose and Cross. Chorales. Empire's Diva

Philip Corner pf

Unseen Worlds [F](2) UW12CD (108' * DDD)

'If Satie's piano pieces are so easy, why are they so badly played?' asks Philip Corner in the chunky booklet that accompanies his back-to-basics performances of Satie evergreens, including Gnossienne No 1 and the Gymnopedies as well as some rarely heard piano compositions such as Ogives, Fanfares of the Rose and Cross and Empire's Diva. Corner is himself a composer whose aesthetic directions changed for ever when he met John Cage during the 1960s. Satie's compositional objectivity was an important lesson from the past for New York School composers such as Cage and Feldman, and Comer's set aims to reclaim Satie from those who perform him as aromatherapy for the cochlea--'those who indulge [in added expressivity] sound ridiculous,' Comer adds, before suggesting such sexing-up is unnecessary because in this music 'nothing is lacking'.

Corner is not, of course, the first pianist to identify an apparent disconnect between Satie's cool detachment and that tendency to sentimentalise his music. …

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