WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Satie: Complete Works For Piano 4 Hands / Duo Campion-vachon


Release Date: 12/12/1995 
Label:  Analekta   Catalog #: 23040   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Erik Satie
Performer:  Mario VachonGuy Campion
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Campion-Vachon Duo
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 49 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

These are moody, quirky, often unsettling, but compelling, readings. At first I was tempted to include the word "grim" in this list, but was dissuaded time and time again by a felicitous and unexpected twist in the music. Duo Campion-Vachon plays these works with metrical accuracy and dogged precision, allowing Satie's voice to emerge cumulatively and quite on its own. Their reading of his piano-four-hands reduction of Parade eliminates the "Choral" (whether this was a decision on the part of the performing artists or on that of Satie, I do not know). Their performance of ' 'Petite Fille Américaine," a.k.a. "Ragtime" in most two-hand versions, is measured and inexorable, the antithesis of Joanna McGregor's vervy Read more account on Collins Classics 10532. Having known Parade only in its orchestral guise, I find Satie's spiky piano sonorities and the effect of the siren, lottery wheel, water puddles, typewriter, and revolver in that leaner context pleasantly clarifying. The result is considerably more surrealistic in effect than is its orchestral predecessor.

True to form, the Duo Campion-Vachon's performance of Aperçus désagréables (1908-12) is completely unmannered and comes across most disagreeably. The "Pastorale," "Choral," and "Fugue" are at once forbidding and musically satisfying in their austerity.

Trois Morceaux en forme de poire was composed as a piano duet in 1903 and is discograph-ically a comparative rarity. Its trois morceaux apparently comprise seven sections (including No. 7, titled "Repetition"). The opening "Way of Beginning" is largely a transposition of Gnossienne No. 7 of 1897. Satie adds a slow and dispiriting introduction and exploits the wider dynamic range of four hands over two, transforming the dreaminess of Gnossienne No. 7 into something considerably more portentous and nightmarish. The second section, "Prolongation Thereof," is a blustery and harmonically unstable march that ushers in movements I, II, and III, whose affective discourse veers from salon fluff to floating dreaminess, to rage, The three movements are played attaca. "Morover" is a study in haunting minimalism, and "Repetition" at once reprises nothing and everything, providing a one-minute-and-twenty-five-second distillate of the score's more ruminative moods.

En Habit de cheval (1911) reflects Satie's counterpoint studies with Roussel, and his disaffection over the whole enterprise. They are as hard-edged and stark as anything in his oeuvre—Satie manages to stifle his prodigious humanism to an alarming degree.

Trois Petites Pièces montées and La Belle Excentrique are from 1921, making them contemporary with Le Peige de Meduse—Satie at his most playful and rarefied. La Belle Excentrique was composed as a number for the eccentric dancer Caryathis in his Ballroom/Ragtime style. I know the piece from piano two-hands versions by Ciccolini and Armengaud. I am not familiar with its orchestral version. As in the opening section of Trois Morceaux en forme de poire, the work benefits from the added sonority of the second pair of hands. Duo Campion-Vachon gives a bracing and rhythmically deft account of the piece.

The recording is clear and impactful, capturing each register of the piano cleanly and in balance. The performances are crisp, clean, and distinguished by fine ensemble throughout.

FANFARE: William Zagorski Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Parade by Erik Satie
Performer:  Mario Vachon (Piano), Guy Campion (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Campion-Vachon Duo
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; France 
Venue:  Salle Henri-Gagnon, Quebec 
Length: 11 Minutes 35 Secs. 
2.
Aperçus désagréables by Erik Satie
Performer:  Guy Campion (Piano), Mario Vachon (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Campion-Vachon Duo
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908-1912; France 
Venue:  Salle Henri-Gagnon, Quebec 
Length: 4 Minutes 56 Secs. 
3.
Morceaux en forme de poire by Erik Satie
Performer:  Guy Campion (Piano), Mario Vachon (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Campion-Vachon Duo
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890/1903; France 
Venue:  Salle Henri-Gagnon, Quebec 
Length: 13 Minutes 19 Secs. 
4.
Petites pièces montées (3) by Erik Satie
Performer:  Mario Vachon (Piano), Guy Campion (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Campion-Vachon Duo
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; France 
Venue:  Salle Henri-Gagnon, Quebec 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
5.
En habit de cheval by Erik Satie
Performer:  Guy Campion (Piano), Mario Vachon (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Campion-Vachon Duo
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; France 
Venue:  Salle Henri-Gagnon, Quebec 
Length: 6 Minutes 44 Secs. 
6.
La belle excentrique by Erik Satie
Performer:  Guy Campion (Piano), Mario Vachon (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Campion-Vachon Duo
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1902-1920; France 
Venue:  Salle Henri-Gagnon, Quebec 
Length: 9 Minutes 1 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In