Aldo Ciccolini – The Piano Music of Erik Satie Vol. 6 (S-36811)

Because my mother is planning to move this autumn, I was obliged to get rid of a bunch of my crap that’d been cluttering her basement when we were visiting earlier this month. Some of this crap we brought back to the UK, but some of it I managed to sell, at a flea market we joined to help the house’s general clear out and a huge Antiques market in Scottsville. This included $60 worth of promo posters to the market I’d acquired when working in a record store in Columbus–nothing too great, but worthy enough. Anyway, I exchanged one of those dollars at the market for a little bit more Satie. Angel label, always welcome at Asbo haus.

For more information on Erik Satie and the French fin de siecle art scene of which he was a part, I recommend Robert Shattuck’s The Banquet Years. It consists of potted biographies and detailed critiques of Satie, Alfred Jarry, Henri Rousseau and Guillaume Apollinaire.

Published in: on August 31, 2012 at 6:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

John McCabe – More Piano Music of Erik Satie (Saga 5472)

One of the most modern aspects of Erik Satie‘s art is the way it sounds spontaneously created, not unlike Gershwin’s later classical-jazz interface. But while Rhapsody In Blue literally scored the great man’s improvisation, Satie achieved freshness with droll, quirky instructions on his sheet music (e.g. play “without pride”, “Fit yourself with clearsightedness”, etc.) in lieu of traditional Italian imperatives for tempo (e.g. largo, moderato, etc.) and volume (fortissimo, pianissimo, etc.) which allows for great interpretive latitude; so, for example, the Gnossiene no.3 here is taken at comparitively breakneck pace. I don’t think you get that level of variation elsewhere in classical music.

Unlike my previous Satie posts, this mint second volume of Piano Music purchased yestiddy in Ashford is comprised entirely of whimsical solo pieces.

Published in: on February 27, 2012 at 9:21 am  Leave a Comment  

“Sports et Divertissements” Piano Music of Erik Satie – Aldo Ciccolini (HMV Greensleeves)

This again is not made up of the ur-Windham Hill sentimentalismes for which Satie is so justly acclaimed as a cult figure these days, rather, more traditional sounding nocturnes and sonatas. Wrapped in an ersatz Terry Gilliam sleeve, this 1982 double Lp compilation on EMI’s classical own brand HMV Greensleeves label contains piano pieces stretching over roughly 30 years of the great man’s career recorded by Aldo Ciccolini between 1964 and 1971.
You must be doing something right if Pablo Picasso does you a caricature.
Published in: on February 16, 2011 at 7:59 pm  Comments (2)  

Erik Satie – Parade, Relâche Ballets and Gymnopedies (Angel S-36486)

I could fill a book with what I don’t know about classical music. Unfortunately, it would be a very dull book called What I Don’t Know About Classical Music by Prince Asbo. I have, however, latterly become interested in the solo piano works of Erik Satie having seen one of them choreographed. Satie’s piano pieces can properly be described as haunting and, as with the Swingle Singers, once heard are easily recognised. Indeed, they are used regularly as background and you may very well have heard one without knowing. My impression is that Satie himself thought his works “mood music”, Muzak even. This was not pejorative, rather it was purpose-built as wallpaper noise.

This album (on Angel as was this Ravi Shankar) represents a different aspect of the Satie oeuvre, orchestral performance pieces for dance, theatre and film. All very avant-garde, as explained in the detailed liner notes. The music is “modern” with with sprinklings of dissonance and sound effects, but enough melody to satisfy the romantic.

Published in: on August 29, 2010 at 9:05 pm  Comments (2)  

Music For Films III (LAND04) (1987)

SAM_0761As I listen, I sense some of the same icy grandeur of Eno and Lanois’ earlier ambient gem Apollo and Bowie’s Low; however, technology had moved on from the previous work and the feel is somehow less resonant, less moving. Enjoyable nonetheless (especially the Satie touches) and only a pound from Hythe chaz.

Published in: on September 26, 2015 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment