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Satie: Piano Works / Klara Kormendi


Release Date: 10/29/2013 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8505237   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára KörmendiGábor Eckhardt
Number of Discs: 5 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 5 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SATIE Véritables Préludes Flasques. 3 Gnossiennes. Gnossiennes 4–6. Menu propos Enfantins. Enfantillages pittoresques. Croquis et agaceries d’un gros Bonhomme en bois. Chapitres tournés en tous sens. Description automatiques. Embryons desséchés. Gymnopédies. Passacaille: Pas trop vif. Six pieces de la période 1906–1913. Parade: Rag-time “Parade.” 3 Nocturnes. Nocturnes 4 and 5. Première pensée Rose + Croix. Sonneries de la Read more Rose + Croix. Rêverie de l’enfance de Pantagruel. Rêverie du Pauvre. Deux reveries nocturnes. Prélude de la porte héroïque du ciel. Ogives. Sarabandes. Musiques intimes et secretes. Caresse. 12 Petits Chorals. Pièces froides. Nouvelles pieces froides. Préludes flasques. Trois nouvelles pieces enfantines. Petite musique de clown triste. Pages mystiques. Prélude en tapisserie. Les Pantins dansent. Danses gothiques. Valse-ballet—Fantaisie-valse. Petite ouverture à danser. Je te veux. Premier menuet. Les 3 Valses du précieux dégoûté. Avant-dernières pensées. Carnet d’esquisses et de croquis. 4 Preludes. Sports et divertissements. Le Piccadilly. Le Poisson rêveur. Le Piège de Méduse. La Diva de l’Empire. Jack-in-the-Box. Vieux sequins et vielles cuirasses. Heures séculaires et instantanées. Peccadilles importunes. Trois morceux en forme de poire. 1 En Habit de cheval. 1 Trois petits pieces montée 1 Aperçus désagréables. 1 La Belle excentrique 1 Klara Körmendi (pn); 1 Gábor Eckhardt (pn) NAXOS 8505237 (5 CDs: 309:13)


Formerly issued individually as NAXOS 8550305, 8550696-99


This set offers in one box Klara Körmendi’s excellent 1989–1994 recordings of Satie’s primary oeuvre for piano. All the famous pieces and suites are here, as well as a large number of extras that don’t normally show up on smaller Satie sets. Your decision to purchase it, however, will inevitably come down to three things: how much you like Satie, how much Satie you want to have in your collection, and whether or not you like Körmendi’s approach to the music.


Since I cannot address the first two topics, I shall concentrate on the third. Körmendi is a Hungarian pianist, and in the first CD the usual Hungarian style of music-making—generally crisp, alert, and architectonically oriented—informs her way of playing these works. If you liked Aldo Ciccolini’s Satie, I think you will also like Körmendi’s in this disc. There is a certain suggestion in her playing of Ciccolini’s style—indeed, the manner in which she brings out the humor of these pieces reminded me, at times, of Chico Marx!—and I, for one, found it not only refreshing but the kind of playing that, unlike the “wispy” style, repays repeated listening. (And for those of you who don’t know this, in 1916 Satie learned—and publicly played—piano music by Jelly Roll Morton at the suggestion of his friend Ernest Ansermet.) She thus takes the three famous Gymnopédies, for instance, faster than Anne Queffélec, who did not really play them too slowly herself (Kömendi’s version of the most famous, No. 1, coming in at 2:59 to Queffélec’s 3:30, and No. 2 at 2:13 compared to 2:53).


Yet when one switches from that initial CD, titled Gymnopédies: A Selection of Piano Pieces, and begins listening to the “official” Vol. 1, recorded three years later, there is a tremendous shift in her musical perspective. From here on out, Körmendi plays the remaining music in the accepted French style: very deliberate in tempo, no dynamic inflections, and with a lot of “space” between notes. You may in fact prefer this style for Satie; it is certainly the “accepted” style; but one cannot deny that this approach lacks individuality. It is a cookie-cutter approach and does not, to my ears, invite repeated listening.


Since this 5-CD set is selling for approximately $32 online it is a considerable bargain. I was not, however, happy about the packaging. Unlike Naxos’s issue of the complete Gesualdo madrigals (see elsewhere in this issue), packaged in thin but sturdy cardboard sleeves within a modest-sized box, the company has here retained the original thick single jewel box packaging of the individual discs. The result is an over-thick box, 2 1/8” wide, a real space-waster on your shelf.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1.
Nocturnes (5) for Piano by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1992 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest 
Length: 11 Minutes 22 Secs. 
2.
Premičre pensée Rose + Croix by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1891; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1992 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest 
Length: 1 Minutes 21 Secs. 
3.
Sonneries (3) de la Rose + Croix by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1992 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest 
Length: 12 Minutes 24 Secs. 
4.
Ręverie de l'enfance de Pantagruel by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1992 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest 
Length: 1 Minutes 16 Secs. 
5.
Ręverie du pauvre by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1900; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1992 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest 
Length: 4 Minutes 6 Secs. 
6.
Ręveries nocturnes (2) by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 06/1992 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
7.
Prélude de la porte héroďque du ciel by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1992 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
8.
Ogives (4) for Piano by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1886; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1992 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest 
Length: 7 Minutes 8 Secs. 
9.
Sarabandes (3) for Piano by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1887; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1992 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest 
Length: 12 Minutes 35 Secs. 
10.
Musiques intimes et secrčtes by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1908; France 
11.
Caresse by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1897; France 
12.
Petits chorals (12) by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1906-1909; France 
13.
Pičces froides: Danses (3) de travers by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
14.
Pičces froides by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1897; France 
15.
Nouvelles pičces froides by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1897-1910; France 
16.
Préludes flasques (4) (pour un chien) by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; France 
17.
Nouvelles pičces enfantines by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
18.
Petite musique de clown triste by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
19.
Pages mystiques by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
20.
Prélude en tapisserie by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; France 
21.
Les pantins dansent by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
22.
Danses gothiques by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1893; France 
23.
Valse-Ballet by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1885; France 
24.
Petite ouverture ŕ danser by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1900; France 
25.
Je te veux for Piano by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1900; France 
26.
Premier menuet by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; France 
27.
Valses (3) distinguées du précieux dégoűté by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; France 
28.
Avant-derničres pensées by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
29.
Carnet d'esquisses et de croquis by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
30.
Préludes (4) for Piano by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1893; France 
31.
Sports et divertissements by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; France 
32.
Picadilly Marche by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 02/1994 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
33.
Le poisson ręveur by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1994 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 6 Minutes 22 Secs. 
34.
Le pičge de Méduse by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1994 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
35.
Café-concert songs (3): La diva de l'empire by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1994 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
36.
Jack-in-the-Box by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1994 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 7 Minutes 48 Secs. 
37.
Vieux sequins et vieilles cuirasses by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1994 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 4 Minutes 27 Secs. 
38.
Heures séculaires et instantanées by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1994 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 3 Minutes 40 Secs. 
39.
Peccadilles importunes by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1994 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
40.
Morceaux en forme de poire by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano), Gábor Eckhardt (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890/1903; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1994 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 12 Minutes 12 Secs. 
41.
En habit de cheval by Erik Satie
Performer:  Gábor Eckhardt (Piano), Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1994 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 6 Minutes 19 Secs. 
42.
Petites pičces montées (3) by Erik Satie
Performer:  Gábor Eckhardt (Piano), Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1994 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 3 Minutes 34 Secs. 
43.
Aperçus désagréables by Erik Satie
Performer:  Gábor Eckhardt (Piano), Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908-1912; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1994 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
44.
La belle excentrique by Erik Satie
Performer:  Gábor Eckhardt (Piano), Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1902-1920; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1994 
Venue:  Unitarian Church, Budapest, Hungary 
Length: 7 Minutes 38 Secs. 
45.
Chapitres tournés en tous sens by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
46.
Croquis et agaceries d'un gros bonhomme en bois by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
47.
Descriptions automatiques by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
48.
Embryons desséchés by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
49.
Enfantillages pittoresques by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
50.
Gnossiennes (6) for Piano by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890-1897; France 
51.
Gymnopédies (3) for Piano by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888; France 
52.
Menus propos enfantins by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
53.
Passacaille by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; France 
54.
Pičces (6) de la période 1906-1913 by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1913; France 
55.
Véritables préludes flasques (3) (pour un chien) by Erik Satie
Performer:  Klára Körmendi (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; France 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Great interpretations March 29, 2014 By Alan W. (Northbrook, IL) See All My Reviews "If you love Satie, the Klara Kormendi set is a must have. If you are new to Satie, this set will make you a Satie-fan forever. Beautiful, intelligent and very personal interpretations." Report Abuse
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