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The Magic of Satie / Jean-Yves Thibaudet


Release Date: 09/10/2002 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 470290   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Erik Satie
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Forget the spaced out photo of Thibaudet on the cover, the meaningless title ("The Magic of Satie"), or the flipside tray card photo in which the pianist has his hands covering his eyes in imitation of a Jewish housewife lighting Shabbat candles on a Friday night. With so many Satie recitals indulging extremes of slowness--and dullness--in an attempt to impose on the music a spurious "spirituality", Thibaudet remains true to form and offers a predominantly lively program (including some first recordings) built around intelligently spaced islands of relaxation. Thank heavens!


Of course, no Satie program would be complete without his most famous work, the three pieces that he called Gymnopédie,
Read more and which became famous in the U.S. as the musical background to commercials for the patent medicine Geritol. Happily, Thibaudet plays them with a light touch, a minimum of fuss, a few deftly applied touches of rubato in the right places (between the phrases, not in the middle of them), and aptly flowing tempos. Just what the doctor ordered! Best of all, the three pieces aren't played one after the other so as to become an exercise in tedium; rather, the first comes on track 1 and the rest are interspersed with livelier fare, and this allows each to register most effectively. After the first Gymnopédie, Thibaudet presents all seven Gnossiennes (brought together for the first time) in a skillfully characterized little suite.


The remainder of the program largely explores Satie's toccata-like, busier side, and Thibaudet excels at this sort of music. He has a great time with the tacky waltz Je te veux and brings a maximum of brilliance and brittle wit to Jack in the Box, the Sonatine bureaucratique, and the Cinq Grimaces for "A Midsummer Night's Dream". There also are some interesting and hitherto little-known pieces (except to specialists): The Dreamy Fish, L'Enfance de Ko-Quo, and The Angora Ox, all of which sound wholly characteristic of the composer and receive equally sympathetic interpretations.


My one quibble with this release concerns the recording, which picks up the swoosh of what must be the piano's dampers moving when Thibaudet uses the pedals. There is no excuse for putting a microphone so close to the instrument, a practice that also produces a hardness of tone at full volume. Still, there's not a lot of pounding going on here: Satie's not that kind of composer, and you'll be hard pressed to find a recital more in sync with the composer's peculiar sound world, or more engagingly planned.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Gymnopédies (3) for Piano by Erik Satie
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  St. George's Church, Bristol, England 
Length: 10 Minutes 3 Secs. 
2.
Gnossiennes (6) for Piano by Erik Satie
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890-1897; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  St. George's Church, Bristol, England 
Length: 19 Minutes 36 Secs. 
3.
Versets laïques et somptueux by Erik Satie
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  St. George's Church, Bristol, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 8 Secs. 
4.
Je te veux for Piano by Erik Satie
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1900; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  St. George's Church, Bristol, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 9 Secs. 
5.
Jack-in-the-Box by Erik Satie
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  St. George's Church, Bristol, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Darius Milhaud (1926) 
6.
Le poisson rêveur by Erik Satie
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  St. George's Church, Bristol, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 29 Secs. 
7.
Picadilly Marche by Erik Satie
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  St. George's Church, Bristol, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 33 Secs. 
8.
The Angora Ox by Erik Satie
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1901; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  St. George's Church, Bristol, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Johny Fritz (1995) 
9.
L'enfance de Ko-Quo by Erik Satie
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  St. George's Church, Bristol, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
10.
Sonatine bureaucratique by Erik Satie
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  St. George's Church, Bristol, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
11.
Café-concert songs (3): La diva de l'empire by Erik Satie
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  St. George's Church, Bristol, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Hans Ourdine (1919) 
12.
La belle excentrique by Erik Satie
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1902-1920; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  St. George's Church, Bristol, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 2 Secs. 
13.
Grimaces (5) pour "Le songe d'une nuit d'été" by Erik Satie
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  St. George's Church, Bristol, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Darius Milhaud (1928) 
14.
Gnossienne for Piano no 7 by Erik Satie
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1891; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2001 
Venue:  St. George's Church, Bristol, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 

Sound Samples

3 Gymnopédies: No.1
Gnossiennes: No. 1 - Lent
Gnossiennes: No. 2 - Avec étonnement
Gnossiennes: No. 3 - Lent
Gnossiennes: No. 4
Gnossiennes: No. 5
Gnossiennes: No. 6
Gnossiennes: No. 7
Verset laïque et somptueux
3 Gymnopédies: No.2
Je te veux
Jack-in-the-box (Pantomime, J. Depaquit): Prélude
Jack-in-the-box (Pantomime, J. Depaquit): Entr'acte
Jack-in-the-box (Pantomime, J. Depaquit): Finale
The dreamy fish
Le Piccadilly
The Angora Ox
3 Gymnopédies: No.3
L'Enfance de Ko-quo (Recommendations maternelles): 1. Ne bois pas ton chocolat avec les doigts
L'Enfance de Ko-quo (Recommendations maternelles): 2. Ne souffle pas dans tes oreilles
L'Enfance de Ko-quo (Recommendations maternelles): 3. Ne mets pas ta tête sous ton bras
Sonatine bureaucratique: 1. Allegro
Sonatine bureaucratique: 2. Andante
Sonatine bureaucratique: 3. Vivache
La diva de l'empire
La Belle Excentrique (fantasie sérieuse): 1. Marche Franco-Lunaire
La Belle Excentrique (fantasie sérieuse): 2. Valse du "Mysterieux baiser dans l'oeuil"
Cinq Grimaces (pour le songe d'une été), Op.Posth. (1929): 1. Préambule
Cinq Grimaces (pour le songe d'une été), Op.Posth. (1929): 2. Coquecigrue
Cinq Grimaces (pour le songe d'une été), Op.Posth. (1929): 3. Chasse
Cinq Grimaces (pour le songe d'une été), Op.Posth. (1929): 4. Fanfaronnade
Cinq Grimaces (pour le songe d'une été), Op.Posth. (1929): 5. Pour sortir

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