mercredi 18 avril 2018

Erik Satie : Complete piano music Vol.2 reviews

Naxos Bestseller February 2018

Terry Robbins (TheWholeNote - 28 March 2018)
Nicolas Horvath plays Cosima Liszt’s 1881 Érard in his latest recording: Erik Satie – Complete Piano Works 2 (Grand Piano GP762 In doing so, Horvath provides an example of how Satie would have heard his music in the late 19th century. This particular instrument is in surprisingly good playing condition and delivers tremendous power in the lower range.
The main work on the disc is Le Fils des étoiles, incidental music to a drama in three acts. The three preludes are brief and each is followed by a more substantial Autre musique in which Satie explores, invents and generally does the kind of thing that earned him a reputation for being unconventional. Horvath is quite comfortable with this music. He himself is a strong promoter of contemporary music and has commissioned more than a hundred works. His familiarity with modern keyboard language makes him adept at working with Satie’s material, since the composer was among the earliest to toy with minimalism, atonality and other new approaches.
The recording is a serious, weighty examination of Satie’s work by a highly capable and credible pianist. There’s nothing casual about this – it’s an all-or-nothing performance.

Luis Suárez (Ritmo – April 2018) Rating : ★★★★
Bajo una nueva edición revisada por Salabert de las obras del excéntrico bohemio Erik Satie, Nicolas Horvath grabará en instrumentos de época, como en estas dos primeras entregas, un Erard de 1880 que perteneció a Cosima Wagner. Aunque ya se hayan abordado grabaciones integrales o revisada su vida y obra en programas de radio o en ensayos, no deja de ser interesante descubrir nuevas miniaturas pianísticas que aquí se pueden escuchar recogidas y revisadas. Producción en acertado orden cronológico de composición, acompañada de una excelente presentación en diseño y generosa información en inglés. Ante rarezas como la música incidental Le Fils des Étoiles (1891), Horvath necesitó sin duda resistencia y gran concentración en la realización de este trabajo altamente inusual que supera los setenta minutos de duración y con la dificultad de una lectura monocorde y austera.

Chris Morgan (Scene Magazine – April 2018)
The opening chords of Erik Satie’s Le Fils des etoiles set an enigmatic mood tobegin this recording, appropriate for a composer whose works are considered to be precursors to the surrealist and minimalist musical schools of the early 20th century. This is the second collection of Satie’s works from Grand Piano/Naxos to feature a performance by Nicolas Horvath (on an 1881 Erard piano that once belonged to Cosima Wagner, no less!), and it demonstrates what a fi ne pairing the two have made. Horvath’s admiration of Satie’s work is obvious, and he addresses himself into the material like a devoted acolyte might relay his master’s teaching. The composition itself – incidental music for a three-act play set in Mesopotamia in 3,000 BC – is a curious artifact in Satie’s oeuvre, representing one of his most radical works.
Standing among the composer’s longest scores and rarely heard complete, Le Fils des etoiles is beautifully presented here to be appreciated by all.

Infodad (8 March 2018 - transcentury blogspot) Piano Thoughts ++++
Both the similarities and the differences between Debussy and Satie are many, and they are apparent in the fascinating world première recording of the complete Satie score, Le Fils des Étoiles (“The Son of the Stars”). Lasting fully an hour and a quarter – exceptionally long for anything by this miniaturist composer – the music was originally written for a play by Joséphin Péladan, leader of a religious-artistic group devoted, among other things, to Wagner. In his typical inversion-of-expectations style, Satie wrote music that could never be confused in the slightest with anything Wagnerian or anything influenced by the German composer, except insofar as doing the opposite of something shows that you know what the original “something” was. The three short Preludes from Le Fils des Étoiles are well-known and have often been performed, but the complete score has never been recorded before. And while it is scarcely typical of later Satie (to the extent that the word “typical” applies to anything he ever wrote), this work from 1891 clearly shows the philosophical underpinnings of Satie’s compositional style. The music is entirely non-descriptive and in no way related to anything occurring on the stage. True, the play was essentially a series of philosophical musings, and Satie’s music could be construed the same way, but if so, the composer’s musings had little to do with the playwright’s. In addition to the three short Preludes, called The Vocation, The Initiation and The Incantation, the music includes three much longer sections, each labeled Theme Decoratif. Their titles are A Night in Chaldea, The Lower Hall of the Great Temple, and The Terrace of Patesi Goudea’s Palace. If the titles bring to mind something vaguely Masonic and perhaps vaguely Mozartian, the music does not: it is woven almost entirely from material that appears in the first Prelude, and its sounds are heavily chordal and quite repetitive – a kind of proto-minimalist music. It was in the early 1890s that Satie became close friends with Debussy, but the differences in their approach to the future of French music are very considerable – and the piano version of La Mer, contrasted with Nicolas Horvath’s performance of Le Fils des Étoiles on the Grand Piano label, makes that abundantly clear. Horvath completes the album with a three-minute encore showing Satie in more-familiar miniaturist mode – and contrasting quite neatly with the extended and unusual hour and a quarter of incidental music.

Romaric Gergorin (Classica – Mars 2017) Rating : ★★★★
Composé par Satie en 1891 pour faire office de musique de scène d'un grand drame antique de Péladan, Le Fils des Étoiles ne fut jamais donné intégralement, seuls ses préludes furent joués par le compositeur au piano en mars 1892 à la galerie Durand-Ruel. Musique étonnante, une des plus longues du corpus de Satie, cette pièce expérimentale qu'il conçut à vingt-six ans fait partie de sa période religieuse, dans laquelle il mêle allègrement provocation pré-dadaïste et audace formelle. Avant-gardiste visionnaire, Satie élabore une pièce impersonnelle faite de juxtaposition de courts motifs agencés en mosaïque, avec une structure qui frise parfois le dodécaphonisme avant l'heure.
Nicolas Horvath s'appuie sur la nouvelle édition révisée du maître d'Arcueil, réalisée par Robert Orledge éminent satiste. Il respecte ainsi les silences indiquées dans la partition entre les différents motifs, ce que ne faisaient pas les précédents interprètes de cette pièce si singulière. Face à la fascinante version du Fils des Étoiles interprétée par Alexei Lubimov, Horvath joue sur d'autres tableaux : clarté des motifs, limpidité distanciée et une sonorité chaude et boisée, celle d'un piano Erard 1881 ayant appartenu à Cosima Wagner. En supplément vient une Fête donnée par des chevaliers dormants en l'honneur d'une jeune demoiselle, réjouissante bizarrerie qui martèle des cadences répétitives animées de mouvements contraires.

James Harrington (American Record Guide - May 2018)
Horvath’s playing is fine, with a wide dynamic range and excellent clarity of voices. The old Erard piano, while perfect historically for this music, is recorded very close-up, so we get some extraneous mechanical sounds. Most outstanding here is the extended, illustrated booklet essay by Robert Orledge.

David Denton (David's Review Corner - February 2018)
The second disc, in an ambitious project to record the complete piano works of Erik Satie, contains the world premiere recording of a new edition of Le Fils des Etoiles. Reviewing the first release last May, I commented on the copious notes that come with the discs, often directing our thoughts and appreciation to music that has fallen into oblivion. Such is the case with Le Fils des Etoiles, a very extended score—lasting some seventy minutes—which acted as the incidental music to Peladan’s pastoral drama set in 3000 BC, his use of a version of plainsong offering little in terms of melodic invention. Interest comes from Satie’s use of unusual harmonies, the music being formed in vertical rather than horizontal lines, its genesis coming from tonality that at times sounds atonal. In six sections, it has a limited dynamic range and is mostly slow moving. Probably written in 1891, it came from a difficult period in his life when he was still coming to terms with the possible life either as a composer or as a concert pianist. Knowing the music that came later makes this an interesting document, though heard in isolation it may not be an essential part of a Satie collection. That the French pianist, Nicolas Horvath, is a dedicated advocate, and being the inspiration in creating this series, does bring a definitive label to his performances, and you have that feel in his detailed presentation. More volumes already on its way.
Der monegassische Pianist Nicolas Horvath setzt mit dieser zweiten Folge seines Satie-Zyklus für Grand Piano die aufsehenerregende Weltersteinspielung der neuen Salabert-Urtext-Edition von Saties Klavier-OEuvre fort. Die neue Edition weist zahlreiche Korrekturen zu früheren Notenausgaben auf, und so ist diese neue Gesamtaufnahme allein schon deswegen von Bedeutung. Es kommt hinzu, dass Horvath die Musik auf einem historischen Flügel aus der Zeit Saties interpretiert, sozusagen im "Originalklang". Dass dieses Klavier einstmals Cosima Wagner gehörte, der Ehefrau des von Satie zutiefst verabscheuten Komponisten Richard Wagner, darf als ein originelles Kuriosum der Einspielung verbucht werden.

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